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Employment Duration and Industrial Labor Mobility in the United States, 1880–1980

Sanford M. Jacoby and Sunil Sharma ()

The Journal of Economic History, 1992, vol. 52, issue 1, 161-179

Abstract: Recent studies of job tenure raise the question of the appropriate duration statistic to use in historical research. This article compares duration measures and examines their empirical and theoretical implications for historical research on employment tenure. Using a variety of data from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, we find that although there existed a sector of stable jobs, most industrial jobs were brief. Since World War I, however, there has been a sharp shift in the relative size and importance of the short- and long-term job sectors.

Date: 1992
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