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 Demographic Research
a free, expedited, online journalof peer-reviewed research and commentaryin the population sciences published by theMax Planck Institute for Demographic ResearchKonrad-Zuse Str. 1, D-18057 Rostock · GERMANYwww.demographic-research.org
 DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH 
VOLUME 9, ARTICLE 7, PAGES 119-162PUBLISHED 17 October 2003www.demographic-research.org/Volumes/Vol9/7/ 
 
 Descriptive Findings
Employment status mobility from a life-cycle perspective: A sequence analysis of work-histories in the BHPS
Miguel A. MaloFernando Muñoz–Bullón
© 2003 Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.
 
Table of Contents
1Introduction1202Empirical analysis of life cycle data1212.1Aggregate analysis1212.1.1 Number of spells (total mobility)1252.1.2 Gross mobility measure1272.2Descriptive sequence analysis1303Estimation of the differences along the life cycle: Sequenceanalysis1363.1Alternative methods1363.2Background: The basics of Optimal Matching Analysis(OMA)1373.3Optimal Matching Parameters: Substitution costs1403.4Optimal Matching Analysis results1423.5OLS regressions on sequence dissimilarities1444Conclusions1495Acknowledgements151 Notes152References156Appendix A159Appendix B160
 
 Demographic Research
– Volume 9, Article 7http://www.demographic-research.org119
 Descriptive Findings
Employment status mobility from a life-cycle perspective:A sequence analysis of work-histories in the BHPS
Miguel A. Malo
1
Fernando Muñoz–Bullón
2
Abstract
In this paper we apply optimal matching techniques to individual work-histories in theBritish Household Panel Survey (BHPS), with a two-fold objective. First, to explore theusefulness of this sequence-oriented approach to analyze work-histories. Second, toanalyze the impact of involuntary job separations on life courses. The study covers thewhole range of employment statuses, including unemployment and inactivity periods,from the first job held to the year 1993. Our main findings are the following: (i) mobilityin employment status has increased along the twentieth century; (ii) it has become moresimilar between men and women; (iii) birth cohorts in the second half of the centuryhave especially been affected by involuntary job separations; (iv) in general, involuntary job separations provoke employment status sequences which substantially differ fromthe typical sequence in each cohort. 
1
Departamento de Economía e Historia Económica, Edificio FES. Universidad de Salamanca.37007- Salamanca. Tel: +34 923 29 46 40 (ext. 3512). Fax: +34 923 29 46 86. E-mail: malo@usal.es
2
Sección de Organización de Empresas. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. C/ Madrid, 126.28903-Getafe (Madrid). Tel: +34 91 624 58 42. E- mail: fmunoz@emp.uc3m.es

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