Inter-industry job mobility in the knowledge economy in Finland

Mukkala Kirsi (School of Business and Economics, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland)
Tohmo Timo (School of Business and Economics, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Publication date: 11 November 2013



The purpose of this paper is to investigate inter-industry labor mobility, paying special attention to workers who move into high-tech (HT) sectors or knowledge-intensive business services (KIBSs). This study inquires whether skilled workers are mobile and whether the characteristics of mobile workers support the effective transfer of knowledge across industries.


Census data representing 7 percent of Finnish residents were used. The micro-econometric estimation method with correction of sample selection bias was applied.


The results show that young workers are the most mobile, whereas mobility decreased for those with previous work experience, higher education and higher income level. These findings indicate that the highly skilled workers are not necessarily the most mobile, a trend that may weaken the effectiveness of knowledge spillover. However, on average, highly educated workers move into KIBS sectors more often than to other sectors, and HT sectors attract workers who have higher incomes, which may indicate that their skills are highly valued. As a result, knowledge spillovers may emerge. The knowledge spillovers resulting from job mobility are concentrated in large growth centers that have universities.


This study provides a new and topical viewpoint to the mobility literature by focussing on skilled workers and their movement toward the HT and KIBS sectors.



The authors would like to thank Professor Hannu Tervo and anonymous referees for their helpful comments. Financial support from the Academy of Finland (project number: 127049), the Local Development Foundation of Finland and the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation is also gratefully acknowledged.


Mukkala, K. and Tohmo, T. (2013), "Inter-industry job mobility in the knowledge economy in Finland", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 34 No. 8, pp. 918-938.

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