Successful Workforce Transitions in a fast-CHanging labor market

Project managerElisabeth Thuestad Isaksen
ClientNorges Forskningsråd
Client project no.300891
ParticipantsCloe Garnache
Elisabeth Thuestad Isaksen
Simen Markussen
Maria Nareklishvili
Eric Nævdal
Oddbjørn Raaum
Knut Røed
Tao Zhang
Period2020 - 2024

Project description

SWiTCH seeks to identify factors that facilitate efficient and equitable workforce transitions in an era of fast-paced change. In particular, the project aims to shed light on potential opportunities and challenges in the transition to a low-carbon society, by drawing on a broad range of lessons from the past. The research project is organized into three parts, which all rely on high-quality Norwegian register data on individuals and firms.

Part 1 of the project is descriptive and investigates to what extent structural change and labor market turbulence are more predominant now than before. In particular, we ask questions such as: Do we change jobs more often than before? Are more workers in temporary employment relationships? Are we moving towards a more polarized labor market?

In Part 2, we aim to identify causal effects of various smaller and larger workforce transitions in the past. Potential study cases include the mass lay-offs after the 2014 oil price drop, restructuring of the banking sector and postal services, implications of large exchange rate fluctuations, and effects of strengthened environmental regulation and increased costs of energy and emission intensive activities. Key research questions are: What distinguishes successful transformation processes from the failures? How are costs and benefits distributed across different population groups? What are the roles of skills, policies, and context in shaping worker level impacts? Identification will rely on exploiting random-assignment-like sources of variation in exposure to various shocks.

In Part 3, we aim to shed light on expected labor market consequences of a future green transition. We will do so by examining the extent to which existing skills and competences map into those needed in a low-carbon economy, and by synthesizing findings from past experiences, both across industries and across countries, where we pay particular attention to insights relevant to a green transition.


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