An International Comparison of Skills, Traits and Job Mobility

31 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2019

See all articles by Damir Stijepic

Damir Stijepic

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Date Written: October 7, 2019


In a large international comparison of 29 countries, I study the relation between job mobility and a person’s skills and traits. While cognitive skills are associated with lower job mobility, some traits are associated with higher job mobility. For instance, a one-standard-deviation increase in numeracy skills (in the willingness to learn) is estimated to reduce (to raise) the probability of having at least two jobs over a period of five years by 2.7 percentage points (by 2.7 percentage points). While there is substantial heterogeneity across countries, the relations are statistically significant in a vast majority of countries. Notably, the studied individual characteristics tend to be more closely related to job mobility in more advanced economies.

Keywords: job mobility, cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, human capital, international comparisons, PIAAC

JEL Classification: J62, J63, J22, J24, I26, E24, D61

Suggested Citation

Stijepic, Damir, An International Comparison of Skills, Traits and Job Mobility (October 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Damir Stijepic (Contact Author)

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz ( email )

Jakob-Welder-Weg 9
Mainz, 55128


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