OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Getting on the job ladder: The policy drivers of hiring transitions

This paper delivers new evidence for European countries on the role of a wide range of policies for workers’ mobility in terms of hiring transitions into jobs, with an emphasis on differences across socio-economic groups. Labour market transitions are relevant in the current context where the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 crisis is characterised by labour shortages and at the same time still low employment in a number of countries. The analysis focuses on the probability to transition from unemployment and selected forms of inactivity (e.g. fulfilling domestic tasks, studying) to jobs and from one job to another. Results of this work show the strong association between hiring flows and the business cycle with specific patterns during recoveries, recessions and expansions. The analysis further reveals that a broad range of policies influence hiring transitions, such as labour market policies, taxes and social support programmes but also product market regulations and regulations affecting certain professions. Country-specific priorities will vary depending on context, challenges and social preferences. Yet common policy objectives at the current recovery context are likely to improve the job prospects of the non-employed, especially youth, low-skilled and women, to help the recovery, foster reallocation and to address labour shortages.


Keywords: COVID-19, labour transitions, labour reallocation, business cycle, job mobility, cross-country data, policy analysis, differences across socio-economic groups, worker flows
JEL: E32: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles / Business Fluctuations; Cycles; J62: Labor and Demographic Economics / Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers / Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility; J2: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor; J31: Labor and Demographic Economics / Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs / Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials; E24: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy / Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
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