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Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain

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  • Maarten Goos
  • Alan Manning

Abstract

This paper argues that skill-biased technical change has some deficiencies as a hypothesis about the impact of technology on the labor market and that a more nuanced view recently proposed by Autor, Levy and Murnane (2003) is a more accurate description. The difference between the two hypotheses is in the prediction about what is happening to employment in low-wage jobs. This paper presents evidence that employment in the UK is polarizing into lovely and lousy jobs and that a plausible explanation for this is the Autor, Levy and Murnane hypothesis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0604.

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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0604

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: Labor Demand and Technology; Inequality;

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  1. Daron Acemoglu, 1999. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1259-1278, December.
  2. Baumol, William J, 1972. "Macroeconomics of Unbalanced Growth: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 150, March.
  3. Thomas Lemieux, 2002. "Decomposing changes in wage distributions: a unified approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 646-688, November.
  4. Francis Green & Steven McIntosh, 2007. "Is there a genuine under-utilization of skills amongst the over-qualified?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 427-439.
  5. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 1993. "Wage Dispersion, Returns to Skill, and Black-White Wage Differentials," NBER Working Papers 4365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Eli Berman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1998. "Implications Of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1245-1279, November.
  7. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology And Changes In Skill Structure: Evidence From Seven Oecd Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244, November.
  8. Chinhui Juhn, 1999. "Wage inequality and demand for skill: Evidence from five decades," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(3), pages 424-443, April.
  9. Stephen Machin, 1995. "Changes in the Relative Demand for Skills in the UK Labour Market," CEP Discussion Papers dp0221, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  11. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  12. F Green & Steven McIntosh & Anna Vignoles, 1999. "Overeducation and Skills - Clarifying the Concepts," CEP Discussion Papers dp0435, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. repec:fth:prinin:385 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. David S. Lee, 1999. "WAGE INEQUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE 1980s: RISING DISPERSION OR FALLING MINIMUM WAGE?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 977-1023, August.
  15. Nachum Sicherman, 1987. "Over-Education in the Labor Market," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 48, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  16. Dunne, Timothy & Foster, Lucia & Haltiwanger, John C. & Troske, Kenneth, 2002. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment," IZA Discussion Papers 563, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  18. Chinhui Juhn, 1994. "Wage Inequality and Industrial Change: Evidence from Five Decades," NBER Working Papers 4684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Teulings, Coen N, 2000. "Aggregation Bias in Elasticities of Substitution and the Minimum Wage Paradox," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 359-98, May.
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  21. Spitz, Alexandra, 2003. "IT Capital, Job Content and Educational Attainment," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  22. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1993. "Occupational Change and the Demand for Skill, 1940-1990," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 122-36, May.
  23. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  24. Henry S. Farber, 1997. "Job Creation in the United States: Good Jobs or Bad?," Working Papers 764, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  25. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  26. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David & Troske, Kenneth R, 1999. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 409-46, July.
  27. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  28. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Profesiones con o sin empleo: la polarización ocupacional
    by Florentino Felgueroso in Nada Es Gratis on 2011-05-08 13:22:40
  2. Immigration and employment: two sides of the same coin
    by Bridget Anderson, Professor of Migration and Citizenship at University of Oxford in The Conversation on 2013-08-15 05:40:24
  3. Rather than protecting the UK labour market, the clampdown on immigration may be compelling citizens to take on lower quality work
    by Blog Admin in British Politics and Policy at LSE on 2013-08-22 07:00:46
  4. Machines on the march threaten almost half of modern jobs
    by Carl Frey, James Martin Research Fellow at University of Oxford in The Conversation on 2013-09-23 05:38:39
  5. Improving technology now means that nearly 50 percent of occupations in the US are under threat of computerisation
    by Blog Admin in British Politics and Policy at LSE on 2013-10-05 17:00:06
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