“High gross inflows into regulation during times of regulatory intensity may reflect workers moving into [the] regulatory sector to get schooled in the new complexity,” the researchers write.
So, rather than joining the government to go easy on banks, the paper suggests workers may be coming to Washington to gain a better understanding of how regulation works — and then using that knowledge to land higher-paying private sector jobs.
The paper also found regulators are having trouble retaining workers. About 64% of people that started working in regulation in 2008 stayed in those jobs for three years or more, the paper found. That compared to 88% for workers that began in 1988. And workers with higher education seem particularly inclined to leave, the paper said. (It also noted that “job flows” in and out of the regulatory sector were still smaller than in other parts of the labor market.)