What You Do at Work Matters: New Lenses on Labour

30 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2018

See all articles by Penny Mealy

Penny Mealy

University of Oxford - Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School; University of Oxford - Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment; Bennett Institute for Public Policy

R Maria del Rio-Chanona

University of Oxford - Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School

J. Doyne Farmer

University of Oxford - Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School; Santa Fe Institute

Date Written: March 18, 2018

Abstract

How is work distributed across individuals within society? And what can this tell us about career transition possibilities and job switching opportunities? This paper investigates the network structure of the division of labour by analysing discrete work activities that people undertake in different occupations. We find that what people do in their current job matters for their future job - people are significantly more likely to transition into occupations sharing similar work activities. Moreover, we find that our measure of occupational work-activity similarity is more predictive of job-to-job transitions than existing benchmark measures. We also highlight how our new networks-based lenses on labour can illuminate a range of labour market topics, including the gendered division of labour and the future of work.

Keywords: job transitions, networks, division of labour, tasks, occupations, future of work

JEL Classification: J01, J16, J21, J24, D85

Suggested Citation

Mealy, Penny and del Rio-Chanona, R Maria and Farmer, J. Doyne, What You Do at Work Matters: New Lenses on Labour (March 18, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3143064 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3143064

Penny Mealy (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School ( email )

Eagle House
Walton Well Road
Oxford, OX2 6ED
United Kingdom

University of Oxford - Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment ( email )

United Kingdom

Bennett Institute for Public Policy

7 West Rd, Cambridge
Cambridge, CB3 9DT
Great Britain

R Maria Del Rio-Chanona

University of Oxford - Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School ( email )

Eagle House
Walton Well Road
Oxford, OX2 6ED
United Kingdom

J. Doyne Farmer

University of Oxford - Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School ( email )

Eagle House
Walton Well Road
Oxford, OX2 6ED
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.inet.ox.ac.uk/people/view/4

Santa Fe Institute ( email )

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Santa Fe, NM 87501
United States
505-984-8800 (Phone)
505-982-0565 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.santafe.edu/~jdf/

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