CAREER: Economic Prediction of Labor Sequence Data Under Distribution ShiftDownload PDF

Published: 21 Oct 2022, Last Modified: 05 May 2023NeurIPS 2022 Workshop DistShift SpotlightReaders: Everyone
Keywords: economics, transfer learning
TL;DR: We develop a transformer-based transfer learning approach for modeling sequences of jobs under distribution shifts
Abstract: Labor economists regularly analyze employment data by fitting predictive models to small, carefully constructed longitudinal survey datasets. Although modern machine learning methods offer promise for such problems, these survey datasets are too small to take advantage of them. In recent years large datasets of online resumes have also become available, providing data about the career trajectories of millions of individuals. However, the distribution of these large resume datasets differ in meaningful ways from the survey datasets used for economic estimation; standard econometric models cannot take advantage of their scale or make predictions under distribution shift. To this end we develop CAREER, a transformer-based model that uses transfer learning to learn representations of job sequences. CAREER is first fit to large, passively-collected resume data and then fine-tuned on samples of the downstream data distribution of interest. We find that CAREER forms accurate predictions of job sequences, achieving state-of-the-art predictive performance on three widely-used economics datasets. We also find that CAREER is adept at making predictions under distribution shifts in time. Full paper available at:
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