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Polarization of the Nordic Labour Markets

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Author Info

  • Rita Asplund

    (The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy ETLA)

  • Erling Barth

    ()
    (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

  • Per Lundborg

    (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

  • Kjersti Misje Nilsen

    (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

Abstract

Labour-market polarization is characterized by increased employment in occupations at the top but also at the bottom of the skills and wage distributions, followed by a relative decline in ‘middling’ occupations. This paper documents a polarization trend also in the Nordic labour markets and contrasts it to comparative findings for the USA. Analysis of the extent to which differences in wage development across skill groups have enhanced or attenuated this process of polarization in employment patterns suggests that the U-shaped pattern of employment change prevails also after controlling for concomitant changes in relative occupational wages. Hence, it seems that also the Nordic countries have experienced a shift from skill-biased technological change to non-routine-biased technological change – or, more likely, a combination of the two – and that this process has not been particularly dampened by compressed wage structures or relatively more rigid wages.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Finnish Economic Association in its journal Finnish Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 24 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (Autumn)
Pages: 87-110

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Handle: RePEc:fep:journl:v:24:y:2011:i:2:p:87-110

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  1. Autor, David & Dorn, David, 2009. "This Job Is 'Getting Old:' Measuring Changes in Job Opportunities Using Occupational Age Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 3970, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Antonczyk, Dirk & DeLeire, Thomas & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 2010. "Polarization and rising wage inequality: comparing the U.S. and Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-015, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Dustmann, Christian & Ludsteck, Johannes & Schönberg, Uta, 2007. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 2685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Guy Michaels & Ashwini Natraj & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Has ICT polarized skill demand?: evidence from eleven countries over 25 Years," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28739, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Mazzolari, Francesca & Ragusa, Giuseppe, 2007. "Spillovers from High-Skill Consumption to Low-Skill Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 3048, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
  7. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Petri, Böckerman & Seppo, Laaksonen & Jari, Vainiomäki, 2013. "Is there job polarization at the firm level?," MPRA Paper 50833, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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