Informations and abstract
In this article we analyze the career mobility patterns of Italian men and women in a comparative and longitudinal perspective. First, we show that, compared to Germany, Great Britain and Sweden, Italy is characterized by a) the highest rates of intragenerational immobility; b) the lowest rates of downward mobility; and c) the lowest rates of long-range upward mobility. In other words, Italian employees are highly protected from demotion but, at the same time, do not have many chances to get on. Second, moving from a cross-sectional to a longitudinal perspective we analyze full job histories of Italian men and women aged 45+ in 1997. We find that a) most people spend their whole career in one occupational class or, if mobile, do not change their class position more than once; and b) those who are mobile during the life course tend to enter their "final" destination very early. We argue that the peculiar patterns of intragenerational mobility observed in Italy depend primarily on the structure of the productive system, the structure of the labor market, and the effects exerted by social origin and education on occupational chances.