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Career outcomes in the Swedish labor market: three contextual studies
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Paper I:Being Different in the Workplace: Job Mobility into other Workplaces and Shifts into Unemployment. This study evaluates contradictory theoretical predictions about the consequences of belonging to a minority in a workplace context. The impact of workplace sex and ethnic composition on its constituent members' voluntary (workplace shifts) and involuntary (unemployment) mobility out of the workplace is assessed. Multilevel models are estimated on a sample of 1,959 Swedish workplaces for which information is available on all employees. The results indicate that the sex composition of the workplace does not affect men's and women's propensity for job shifts into other workplaces. However, natives have a higher propensity to leave workplaces with relatively many immigrants. Moreover, women and immigrants who are in a small minority run significantly larger risks of ending up in unemployment. No such association is found for men when they are in the minority, or for natives in workplaces with a large proportion of immigrants. Thus, the minority position is disadvantageous for women and immigrants. In contrast to previous research, the ethnic composition effects dwarf those of sex composition. This dimension of "being different" thus seems more important for involuntary as well as voluntary moves out of workplaces.

Paper II:What You See is Not Always What You Get. Imperfect Information in the Job-Worker Matching Process, and Its Consequences for the Attainment of Occupational Prestige. This study uses Swedish job history data to test the hypothesis that easily observable characteristics of both jobs and workers matter more for the individual attainment of job rewards when better information about such characteristics is not available. The notion of "easily observable worker characteristics" is operationalized as formal education, and that of "easily observable job characteristics" is operationalized as occupational prestige. The results are consistent with the hypothesis and previous empirical evidence obtained using US data. The formal education of workers influences employers' decisions about hiring, but in employer-internal mobility employers appear to make use of more direct measures of worker ability. Moreover, the longer the employer has had an opportunity to observe a worker, the smaller the influence of formal education on internal job mobility outcomes. Similarly, easily observable characteristics of jobs influence workers' mobility between employers, i.e. when other job information is unavailable or difficult to observe. Workers were also found to use more easily observable characteristics early on in the job-worker matches, but with time in the job, these characteristics lose their influence on job mobility decisions.

Paper III:Pay Reference Standards and Pay Satisfaction. What Do Workers Evaluate Their Pay Against? Reference group theory postulates that actors' satisfaction originates in relative rather than absolute standing, but largely neglects the question of what these comparison standards actually are. This study contributes to filling this void through an empirical investigation of the standards against which workers evaluate their pay. The associations between several indicators of reference pay and pay satisfaction are examined in a random sample of Swedish employees. The data set is unusually rich in its information about both the individual and the structural context in which worker pay satisfaction is formed: the past pay of the worker, and the pay level of the organizational, occupational, and national labor market context. The results indicate that workers' satisfaction primarily stems from more general comparisons with others in their occupation, and in the labor market at large. Comparisons with co-workers' and the individuals' own past pay, are of minor importance. Reference group theory as applied to pay comparisons would therefore benefit from a focus on this more general level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University , 2001. , 15 p.
Series
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 51
Keyword [en]
Career development, Labour market, Sweden
Keyword [sv]
Karriär, Arbetsmarknad, Sverige, 1990-talet
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142222ISBN: 91-7604-088-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-142222DiVA: diva2:1091863
Public defence
2001-05-18, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Note

Diss. (sammanfattning) Stockholm : Univ., 2001

Härtill 3 uppsatser

Available from: 2017-04-28 Created: 2017-04-28 Last updated: 2017-07-03Bibliographically approved

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