This paper addresses the rarely studied relationship between job vacancies and inter-firm upward, lateral, and downward status mobility in an occupationally segmented labor market, taking Switzerland as the example. To conceptualize mobility mechanisms in this type of labor market, we introduce the concept of “occupational mobility chains” and test its validity. This concept provides the backdrop for developing time-dependent measures of individual job opportunities based on Swiss Job Monitor data. We link these measures with career data taken from the Swiss Life History Study and employ event history analysis to test different propositions of the ways in which status mobility is contingent on the number and the status of vacant positions. Results support our assumption that in occupationally segmented labor markets vacant positions affect status mobility only to the degree that they are located within workers’ occupational mobility chains.

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