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Are skill requirements rising? Evidence from production and clerical jobs

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  • Peter Cappelli
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    Abstract

    This paper examines changes in skill requirements for production jobs in 93 manufacturing establishments between 1978 and 1986 and clerical jobs in 211 firms between 1978 and 1988. The unique data set allows an analysis not only of changes in the distribution of employment across jobs-the usual approach-but also of changes in skill requirements within job titles. The results suggest that significant upskilling is occurring within most production jobs in manufacturing; shifts in the composition of the work force toward higher-skill production jobs contribute a smaller amount to the overall rise in average skill requirements. Changes in clerical jobs are more complicated and suggest an even split between jobs that were upskilled and those that were deskilled. The development of new office equipment appears to be associated with the deskilling of specific clerical jobs. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 46 (1993)
    Issue (Month): 3 (April)
    Pages: 515-530

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:46:y:1993:i:3:p:515-530

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    Cited by:
    1. David R. Howell, 1999. "Technological Change and the Demand for Skills in the 1980s: Does Skill Mismatch Explain the Growth of Low Earnings?," Macroeconomics 9907003, EconWPA.
    2. Green, Francis & Andy Dickerson, 2003. "The Growth and Valuation of Generic Skills," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 91, Royal Economic Society.
    3. David R. Howell & Margaret Duncan & Bennett Harrison, 1998. "Low Wages in the US and High Unemployment in Europe: A Critical Assessment of the Conventional Wisdom," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 1998-01, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School, revised Aug 1998.
    4. Sargent, John & Matthews, Linda, 1997. "Skill development and integrated manufacturing in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(10), pages 1669-1681, October.
    5. Kaiser, Ulrich, 1998. "The Impact of New Technologies on the Demand for Heterogenous Labour: Empirical Evidence from the German Business-Related Services Sector," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-26, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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