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Examining the determinants of occupational mobility: an innovative approach using a combined weighted BHPS and UKHLS dataset

25th May 2017 1pm, Room 1/G/8, Ladywell House, Edinburgh

David McCollum and Glenna Nightingale, University of St Andrews and Centre for Population Change

The ability and propensity of individuals to progress along the occupational hierarchy over time has long been a fundamental concern in the social sciences. Efforts to examine the determinants of career trajectories have traditionally been hindered by methodological difficulties associated with disentangling the role of individual, placed based and wider socio-economic conditions in these processes. Focusing on the UK context, the research discussed in this paper is innovative in that it uses complex survey weighting procedures to combine the BHPS (1991-2008) and UKHLS (2009-2014) to allow for a detailed interrogation of occupational trajectories over a significant time period. The findings point to various individual level characteristics, place based factors and the business cycle all playing significant roles in occupational mobility. This highlights the value of a multi-level approach to investigations of occupational mobility. Keywords: BHPS, longitudinal data, occupational mobility, UKHLS, weighted survey data.