Opening the "Skill-Biased Technological Change" Black Box: A Look at the Microfoundations of the Technology-Skill Relationship
AbstractThe present article is a review of the recent empirical literature developed around the issues of why technology is complementary to high levels - and substitute for low levels - of skill, and, in particular, of how the adoption of ICT and computer-based machines has changed the skill requirements of jobs. During the last two decades the discussion around the impact of technological diffusion on the skill mix of employees has been intense. On this purpose, different approaches have developed that provide different evidence to a common research question. The paper shows that traditional studies have just inferred the skill-biased technical change hypothesis by employing broad measures of technological change and human skills from sector- and firm-level data. While studies that rely on worker-level data depict a more puzzling phenomenon, a recent literature based on job-level analyses focuses the heterogeneity of both technology and skills and aims at determining the demand for labor by the tasks that occupations require. The main conclusion is that technology is a partial substitute for repetitive manual tasks, and a complement of nonroutine, non-manual skills, for which more educated workers enjoy a comparative advantage. However, some open questions still remain that claim a deeper and multidisciplinary investigation on the endogenous relationship between technology adoption and general versus specific skill accumulation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Società editrice il Mulino in its journal Economia politica.
Volume (Year): (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Contact details of provider:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- R. Antonietti & D. Antonioli, 2007.
"Production offshoring and the skill composition of Italian manufacturing firms A quasi-experimental analysis,"
594, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
- R. Antonietti & D. Antonioli, 2007. "Production offshoring and the skill composition of Italian manufacturing firms A quasi-experimental analysis," Working Papers 593, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
- G. Antonelli & R. Antonietti & G. Guidetti, 2009.
"Organizational Change, Skill Formation, Human Capital Measurement: Evidence From Italian Manufacturing Firms,"
661, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
- Gilberto Antonelli & Roberto Antonietti & Giovanni Guidetti, 2010. "Organizational Change, Skill Formation, Human Capital Measurement: Evidence From Italian Manufacturing Firms," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 206-247, 04.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.