Oesch, Daniel and Rodriguez Menes, Jorge (2010): Upgrading or polarization? Occupational change in Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, 1990-2008.
Download (193Kb) | Preview
We analyze the pattern of occupational change over the last two decades in Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland: which jobs have been expanding – high-paid jobs, low-paid jobs or both? Based on individual-level data, we examine what hypothesis is most consistent with the observed change: skill-biased technical change, routinization, skill supply evolution or wage-setting institutions? Our analysis reveals massive occupational upgrading that closely matches educational expansion: employment expanded most at the top of the occupational hierarchy, among managers and professionals. In parallel, mid-range occupations (clerks and production workers) declined relative to those at the bottom (interpersonal service workers). This U-shaped pattern of upgrading is consistent with the routinization hypothesis: technology seems a better substitute for average-paid clerical and manufacturing jobs than for low-end service employment. Yet country differences in low-paid service job creation suggest that wage-setting institutions play an important role, channelling technological change into more or less polarized patterns of upgrading.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Upgrading or polarization? Occupational change in Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, 1990-2008|
|English Title:||Upgrading or polarization? Occupational change in Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, 1990-2008|
|Keywords:||employment, labour market institutions, technological change, inequality, occupations|
|Subjects:||J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Demand and Supply of Labor > J21 - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
P - Economic Systems > P5 - Comparative Economic Systems > P52 - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies
|Depositing User:||Daniel Oesch|
|Date Deposited:||04. Mar 2010 03:30|
|Last Modified:||13. Feb 2013 02:36|
Acemoglu, D. (2001) ‘Good jobs versus bad jobs’, Journal of Labor Economics 19 (1), 1-21.
Autor, D., Katz, L. and Kearney, M. (2008) ‘Trends in U.S. wage inequality: revising the revisionists’, The Review of Economics and Statistics 90 (2), 300-323.
Autor, D. H., Levy, F. and Murnane, R. J. (2003) ‘The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118 (4), 1279-1333.
Berman, E., Bound, J. and Machin, S. (1998) ‘Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 113 (4), 1245-79
Bernardi, F. and Garrido, L. (2008) ‘Is there a new service proletariat? Post-industrial employment growth and social inequality in Spain’, European Sociological Review 24 (3), 299–313.
DiPrete, T. and McManus, P. (1996) ‘Institutions, technical change, and diverging life changes: earnings mobility in the United States and Germany’, American Journal of Sociology 102 (July), 34-79.
Dustmann, C., Frattini, T. and Preston. I. (2008) ‘The Effect of Immigration along the Distribution of Wages’, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, Discussion Paper No 03/08.
Dustmann C., Ludsteck J. and Schönberg U. (2009) ‘Revisiting the German wage structure’, Quarterly Journal of Economics 124 (2): 843-881.
Eurofound (2008) ‘More and better jobs: patterns of employment expansion in Europe’, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Dublin.
Felstead, A., Gallie, D., Green, F. and Zhou, Y. (2007) ‘Skills at work, 1986-2006’, Working paper, ESCR Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance, Universities of Oxford and Cardiff.
Freeman, R. and Schettkat, R. (2001) ‘Skill Compression, Wage Differentials and Employment: Germany vs. the US’, Oxford Economic Papers 53 (3), 582–603.
Gallie, D., White, M., Cheng, Y. and Tomlinson, M. (1998) Restructuring the Employment Relationship, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Goldin, C. and Katz, L. (2007) ‘The race between education and technology: the evolution of U.S. educational wage differentials 1890 to 2005’, NBER Working Paper 12984.
Goos, M. and Manning, A. (2007) ‘Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarisation of work in Britain’, Review of Economics and Statistics 89 (1), 118-133.
Goos, M., Manning, A. and Salomons, A. (2009) ‘Job polarization in Europe’, American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings 99 (2), 58-63.
Kenworthy, L. (2003) ‘Do affluent countries face an incomes-jobs trade off?’, Comparative Political Studies 36 (10), 1180-1209.
Krugman, P. (1994) ‘Past and prospective causes of high unemployment’, Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, 23-43.
Levy, F. and Temin, P. (2007) ‘Inequality and Institutions in 20th Century America’, MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 07-17.
Manning, A. (2004) ‘We can work it out: the impact of technological change on the demand for low-skill workers’, Scottish Journal of Political Economy 51 (5), 581-608.
Nickell, S. and Bell, B. (1996) ‘The distribution of wages and unemployment. Changes in the distribution of wages and unemployment in OECD countries’, American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings 86, 302-308.
OECD (2004) ‘Wage-setting institutions and outcomes’, OECD Employment Outlook, 127-171.
OECD (2005) ‘Trade-adjustment costs in OECD labour markets: a mountain or a molehill?’, OECD Employment Outlook, 23-72.
Oesch, D. (2010), "What explains high unemployment among low-skilled workers? Evidence from 21 OECD countries", European Journal of Industrial Relations 16 (1):39-55.
Oesch, D. (2006), "Coming to grips with a changing class structure", International Sociology 21 (2): 263-288.
Scharpf, F. (2000) ‘Economic Changes, Vulnerabilities, and Institutional Capabilities’, in Scharpf, F. and Schmidt, V. (eds.), Welfare and Work in the Open Economy. Vol. I. From Vulnerability to Competitiveness, pp. 21-124, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sheldon, G. (2005) Der berufsstrukturelle Wandel der Beschäftigung in der Schweiz 1970-2000: Ausmass, Ursachen und Folgen, Bundesamt für Statistik, Neuchâtel, pp. 1-68.
Spitz-Oener, A. (2006) ‘Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking Outside the Wage Structure’, Journal of Labor Economics, 24 (2), 235-270.
Tahlin, M. (2007) ‘Skills and Wages in European Labour Markets: Structure and Change’, in: Gallie, D. (ed.) Employment Regimes and the Quality of Work, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Visser, J. (2007) ‘Wage bargaining institutions in Europe. A happy marriage or preparing for divorce?’, in: Acocella, N. and Leoni, R. (eds.) Social pacts, employment and growth, Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag.
Wright, E. O. and Dwyer, R. (2003) ‘The patterns of job expansions in the USA: a comparison of the 1960s and 1990s’, Socio-Economic Review 1, 289-325.