LABOR MOBILITY AND TURNOVER
THE KEY to the structured market is the nature of labor mobility. Do workers readily move from lower-paying to higher-paying jobs? Do they move from jobs requiring lesser skills to more skilled work? Do they move as easily among different industries as among firms in the same industry? Is the worker who frequently changes jobs the experienced or the inexperienced, the well-informed or the one lacking in knowledge of the market; is he the rational man making the careful calculations of net advantage that the economic theorist discusses? In this chapter we shall review some of the empirical studies of such questions and discuss their theoretical implications.
One definition of labor mobility for empirical studies is the frequency with which workers change jobs during a particular period of time.1 A broader definition includes all the changes in the worker's position in the labor market. Such a classification would include: interfirm movements, subdivided into occupational, industrial, and geographic changes; movements from employment to unemployment and vice versa; and movements____________________