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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Raul Eamets and Krista Jaakson

Recent economic recession has highlighted the role of labour market flexibility as a key factor of competitiveness of a country. Despite the fact that labour mobility can…

1412

Abstract

Purpose

Recent economic recession has highlighted the role of labour market flexibility as a key factor of competitiveness of a country. Despite the fact that labour mobility can essentially be seen as part of labour market flexibility, there is notable research gap concerning spatial mobility and other facets of labour market flexibility. The purpose of this special issue is to fill these gaps.

Design/methodology/approach –

The papers in the special issue represent various quantitative methods and databases, whereas mainly micro data (workplace, labour force or immigrant surveys, job search portal, etc.) is used. However, the type of labour market flexibility addressed is both micro- and macro-level.

Findings

It is demonstrated that labour occupational mobility is determined by the business cycle, numerical flexibility, occupational categories, and sector. Spatial mobility may have counterintuitive effects on individual occupational mobility depending on gender and it is related to various flexibilities in the workplace. It is also suggested that different types of flexibilities on a firm level are interdependent of each other.

Originality/value

The special issue adds to the labour market related knowledge by integrating labour market flexibility and mobility. Individually, both phenomena have been studied before, but not much research is devoted to their inter-linkages. The special issue also contributes by examining labour market flexibility and spatial mobility in the context of different countries, economic cycles, and institutional settings.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Jaan Masso, Raul Eamets and Pille Mõtsmees

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of temporary migration on the upward occupational mobility by using a novel database from Estonia.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of temporary migration on the upward occupational mobility by using a novel database from Estonia.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a unique data set of the online job search portal of Estonia that includes thousands of employees with foreign work experience. The authors study whether the presence of temporary migration in ones working career is associated with upward movement in the occupational ladder, defined either in terms of wages or required human capital.

Findings

The authors did not find any positive effect of temporary migration on upward occupational mobility and in case of females the effect was negative. The results could be related to the short-term nature of migration and the occupational downshifting abroad as well as the functioning of home country labour market.

Research limitations/implications

While the uniqueness of the data set is of value, one needs to acknowledge its weaknesses: the job-seekers work histories are self-reported and the authors do not know what information was left out as undesired by applicant.

Practical implications

The findings imply that the benefits of temporary migration from Eastern to Western Europe on the sending country via the returnees’ labour market performance might be limited, yet it does not exclude the benefits of return migration through other mechanism.

Originality/value

The literature on return migration is not big and there are only a few papers dealing with occupational change or mobility of the return migrants. Compared to earlier studies we have looked at wider set of occupations ranked by different ladders. Using the unique data set the authors have included in the study ca 7,500 return migrants while earlier studies have been based on rather small samples.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 May 2008

Raul Eamets, Niels Mygind and Natalia Spitsa

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the development of employee financial participation in Estonia from patterns of employee ownership which was…

812

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the development of employee financial participation in Estonia from patterns of employee ownership which was promoted during the privatization of enterprises in the transition period, to the emergence of different forms of employee participation, including employee share ownership and profit sharing schemes. The analysis of the changing institutional setting and legislation in Estonia in the context of EU accession serves as a basis for examining the actual diversification of forms of employee financial participation, and provides some suggestions of likely further development.

Design/methodology/approach

The study combines results from earlier research, analysis of Estonian legislation from the late 1980s to the present time, interviews with social partners, data collected through enterprise surveys during the transition period and case studies, examining recent examples of financial participation.

Findings

There is no historical tradition of employee financial participation in Estonia. By far the most important development was in relation to early privatization, with the employee takeover of many small enterprises. However, majority ownership by employees in these firms has changed quite rapidly, so that now the dominant ownership pattern is of ownership by managers and outside owners. This phenomenon was observed both in quantitative studies and in case studies. There are very few cases of profit sharing. The need to transform acquis communautaire into national law in connection with the EU accession has recently led to debates about employee participation in decision making. Although the government and other influential political players do not promote financial participation, the discussion on the implementation of EU directives shows that the issue will be addressed and even new legislation could be adopted if an EU act on financial participation of employees were approved.

Research limitations/implications

In contrast with employee share ownership, the incidence of which was quite recently assessed in a survey study of January 2005 for 722 enterprises, profit sharing has not been the subject of regular and/or recent studies. Thus, one should be cautious when estimating the extent of the spread of diverse forms of financial participation in Estonian companies.

Practical implications

Description of the current status of employee financial participation can be important for policy makers for further development of the labour market in Estonia. Development of legislation following the trend in the EU, together with changes in the taxation system, could promote different forms of financial participation by employees, and could lead to strengthening employee motivation and productivity, especially in knowledge‐based companies.

Originality/value

The paper is a comprehensive description of the development and current status of employee financial participation in Estonia. The paper provides suggestions for further research.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Philip B. Whyman and Alina Ileana Petrescu

The purpose of this paper, with an organisational focus, is to offer a novel examination of the association between workforce nationality composition and workplace…

1433

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper, with an organisational focus, is to offer a novel examination of the association between workforce nationality composition and workplace flexibility practices (WFPs), an under-researched topic with high potential benefits at microeconomic and macroeconomic level.

Design/methodology/approach

British data are used, as the UK has experienced significant immigrant flows and has a relatively high level of labour market flexibility. The Workplace Employee Relations Survey 2011, sampling 2,500 British workplaces, offers for the first time data on workforce nationality. Via zero-inflated regressions, the number of non-UK nationals employed in a workplace is assessed against a wide range of numerical, functional and cost WFPs.

Findings

There are significant links between WFPs and the employment of non-UK nationals, and these are distinct for non-UK nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) when compared to non-UK nationals from outside the EEA. The former are more likely to be in “good” employment, with job security, working from home, job autonomy and training. Yet, both types of non-UK nationals are more likely to be employed in workplaces making high use of causal contracts. The implications of these results are discussed.

Originality/value

The paper addresses the need to research migration from a relatively new perspective of WFPs while also taking into account the diversity of non-UK nationals. The topic is of importance to organisations, as well as to labour market and migration policymakers. Timely results are of value in view of heightened interest in migration.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Liis Roosaar, Pille Mõtsmees and Urmas Varblane

The purpose of this paper is to examine how occupational mobility varies over the business cycle and how selected factors contribute to occupational mobility in different…

1506

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how occupational mobility varies over the business cycle and how selected factors contribute to occupational mobility in different stages of the business cycle.

Design/methodology/approach

Using annual micro data from the Estonian Labour Force Survey (2001-2010) and implementing probit models with interaction terms, the paper investigates occupational mobility as a change of occupation in two successive years during recovery, boom and recession periods.

Findings

The analysis indicates that occupational mobility is higher during the recovery and boom periods and lower during the recession stage. The demographic characteristics (gender, marital status, knowledge of local language) influence the probability for occupational change during the recovery stage of the business cycle. The position of employees in the occupational hierarchy is significant during the recovery and boom periods. Employees working in the public sector have a lower probability for occupational change compared with private sector employees during the recession. Training has a positive effect on occupational mobility during recession. Tenure reduces the probability of occupational mobility over the whole business cycle.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature by providing new results about the role of different factors of occupational mobility over the business cycle. This is among the few studies addressing the variation in the occupational mobility of employees from the public and private sectors. Interactions between the position of the employees in the occupational hierarchy and the ownership form of their employers and the economic sectors add to the understanding about the mechanism of occupational mobility over the business cycle stages.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Antonio Caparrós Ruiz

The purpose of this paper is to approach a new aspect of the assimilation of immigrants in Spain. In particular, it is analyzed the effect of the type of contract on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to approach a new aspect of the assimilation of immigrants in Spain. In particular, it is analyzed the effect of the type of contract on immigrant wages. The data used in this analysis come from the Spanish National Immigrant Survey, which was conducted by the Spanish Statistics Institute (INE) between 2006 and 2007.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the methods and econometric specifications applied develop a wage model where the variable “contract type” is considered as an endogenous regressor. Second, the average wage gap between temporary and permanent workers is decomposed between a portion attributable to differences in characteristics and another to differences in coefficients.

Findings

It is found that workers with a permanent contract received a wage premium with respect to temporary workers even for equal work and equal productivity.

Social implications

Results indicate the importance of job stability for the integration and assimilation of immigrants in Spain, and offer an economic argument to support labour policies that encourage stable employment relationships.

Originality/value

This paper takes a novel approach of the assimilation of immigrants in the Spanish labour market.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Yuval Arbel, Yossef Tobol and Erez Siniver

Previous studies of immigrant populations suggest that ceteris paribus an immigrant's level of income is strongly and positively correlated with his proficiency in the…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous studies of immigrant populations suggest that ceteris paribus an immigrant's level of income is strongly and positively correlated with his proficiency in the local language. The purpose of this paper is to extend this literature using data from a telephone survey carried out in 2005 among a representative sample of Former Soviet Union (FSU) immigrants. Unlike previous surveys, the data includes responses to detailed subjective questions on degree of social involvement, in addition to the number of years since migration and level of proficiency in the local language. The authors are able to demonstrate that a higher degree of assimilation is associated with a significantly higher likelihood of finding full-time employment. Moreover, the estimation results for the wage equation reveal that the effect on income previously attributed solely to language proficiency is in fact also the result of more successful assimilation in the receiving culture. The findings thus stress the importance of assimilation in determining success in job search and in explaining variations in income among immigrants who are already employed in full-time jobs. Finally, the results obtained when differentiating according to gender show that male immigrants have better prospects of finding a job than female immigrants and higher incomes once they find one, which is consistent with the existing literature.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to compare the relative importance of the language proficiency variable (LANGUAGE i ) to that of the social involvement variable (ASSIMILATION i ), The authors apply the probit model to two separate equations. The first is the prospects of finding a job and the second is the wage equation.

Findings

–The authors are able to demonstrate that a higher degree of assimilation is associated with a significantly higher likelihood of finding full-time employment. Moreover, the estimation results for the wage equation reveal that the effect on income previously attributed solely to language proficiency is in fact also the result of more successful assimilation in the receiving culture. The findings thus stress the importance of assimilation in determining success in job search and in explaining variations in income among immigrants who are already employed in full-time jobs. Finally, the results obtained when differentiating according to gender show that male immigrants have better prospects of finding a job than female immigrants and higher incomes once they find one, which is consistent with the existing literature.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation is, like all of the existing literature and in particular the few studies that deal with social networking, that the database is exclusively based on either interviews or surveys consisting of self-assessment questions (such as, Dustman, 1996; Lazear, 1999; Amuedo-Dorantes and Mundra, 2007). Consequently, the implicit assumption is that the respondent's self-perceived level of assimilation constitutes a good proxy for the true level.

Practical implications

The implications are the following: the findings are thus consistent with those of Lazear (1999), who anticipates a negative correlation between the relative size of a minority group and the level of proficiency in the local language. In the case of Israel, which received a massive wave of 1.5 million immigrants from the FSU, the findings indeed suggest that the chances of an immigrant job seeker finding a job are far more dependent on his degree of assimilation than his level of language proficiency. Moreover, the effect of the degree of assimilation, which has not previously been included in estimations, was mistakenly attributed to language proficiency. The findings of this research thus reveal the importance of the degree of assimilation in finding a job and can explain income differences among those who have already found full-time employment.

Originality/value

Previous studies of immigrant populations suggest that ceteris paribus the level of income is strongly and positively correlated with proficiency in the local language. The current study extends this literature using data from a telephone survey carried out in 2005 among a representative sample of FSU immigrants. Unlike previous surveys, the data includes responses to detailed subjective questions on degree of social involvement, in addition to the number of years since migration and level of proficiency in the local language. The authors are able to demonstrate that a higher degree of assimilation is associated with a significantly higher likelihood of finding full-time employment. Moreover, the estimation results for the wage equation reveal that the effect on income previously attributed to language proficiency is in fact the result of more successful assimilation in the receiving culture. The results are robust to gender differences. The findings thus stress the importance of assimilation in determining success in job search and in explaining variations in income among immigrants who are already employed in full-time jobs.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2008

Epp Kallaste, Krista Jaakson and Raul Eamets

The purpose of this paper is to discover how non‐unionised representatives (NERs) are created and what their role is in comparison to unionised representation. The authors…

679

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discover how non‐unionised representatives (NERs) are created and what their role is in comparison to unionised representation. The authors aim to analyse why the institution of non‐unionised employee representation is created if its functions overlap with those of the unions, including the functions of collective bargaining and information‐consultation.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study involves interviews with representatives and executive directors, as well as a survey of the employees of two companies.

Findings

The results show that when there is a weak union, the employers initiate an NER in order to involve the whole workforce in the collective agreement. The NER is elected by employees even though it was initiated by the employer. The roles of the two representatives do not differ much, the main function for both being collective bargaining with some provision for information and consultation.

Originality/value

The unique situation in Estonia, which is about to change with adoption of EU directive 14/2002/EC, enables the analysis of cases involving two different representative institutions with the same functions in the same company. This provides valuable input for researchers describing in practice the behaviour of representatives and employers in this situation. It also provides East‐European policy makers some idea about how policies that address collective bargaining and the involvement of workers should be designed.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Nina Neubecker

The purpose of this paper is to break down south-north migration along both the skill and the occupational dimension and thus to distinguish and compare several types of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to break down south-north migration along both the skill and the occupational dimension and thus to distinguish and compare several types of south-north migration and brain drain.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents south-north migration rates by occupational category at two distinct levels of disaggregation according to International Standard Classification of Occupations 1988 (ISCO-88). The data sets combine information about the labor market outcomes of immigrants in Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) countries around the year 2000 provided by the Database on Immigrants in OECD Countries by the OECD with employment data for the developing migrant-sending countries from the International Labour Organization.

Findings

The incidence of south-north migration was highest among Professionals, one of the two occupational categories generally requiring tertiary education, and among clerks and legislators, senior officials and managers. At the more disaggregated level, physical, mathematical and engineering science (associate) professionals, life science and health (associate) professionals, as well as other (associate) professionals exhibited significantly larger brain drain rates than teaching (associate) professionals. The data also suggest non-negligible occupation-education mismatches due to the imperfect transferability of skills acquired through formal education because south-north migrants with a university degree worked more often in occupational categories requiring less than tertiary education compared to OECD natives. The employment shares of most types of professionals and technicians and associate professionals, as well as of clerks and corporate managers were significantly smaller in the migrant-sending countries compared to the receiving countries.

Originality/value

The constructed data sets constitute the first comprehensive data sets on south-north migration by ISCO-88 major and sub-major occupational category for cross-sections of, respectively, 91 and 17 developing countries of emigration.

Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Liina Malk

Employment law reform enforced in Estonia in mid-2009 provides a good opportunity to examine the outcomes of employment protection legislation (EPL). The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Employment law reform enforced in Estonia in mid-2009 provides a good opportunity to examine the outcomes of employment protection legislation (EPL). The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effects of the reduction in EPL on labour reallocation.

Design/methodology/approach

The author exploits the micro-data of the Labour Force Survey to estimate the probabilities of one-year worker flows with probit models, and uses a difference in differences (DID) approach to identify the effects of the EPL reform.

Findings

The author finds that the reduction in EPL seems to have increased the probability of transitions out of employment. At the same time, she does not find any significant effect of this reform on the probability of flows into employment. The evaluation also gives evidence of a lowered probability of job-to-job transitions resulting from the reduction in EPL.

Research limitations/implications

In this paper, the DID estimation is conducted by using Lithuanians as the control group for Estonians. However, it should be noted that this approach assumes strong similarities between these countries in order to obtain reliable estimates.

Originality/value

The findings of this paper raise the possibility that the reduction in EPL alone may not have been sufficient for achieving a better reallocation of labour and this is important to consider in the context of further developments in other labour market institutions.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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