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Measuring and interpreting trends in the division of labour in the Netherlands

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  • Bas ter Weel

    ()

  • Semih Akcomak

    ()

  • Lex Borghans

Abstract

This paper introduces indicators about the division of labour to measure and interpret recent trends in employment in the Netherlands. We show that changes in the division of labour occur at three different levels: the level of the individual worker, the level of the industry and the spatial level. At each level, the current organisation of work is determined by an equilibrium of forces that glue tasks together and unbundled tasks. Communication costs are the main force for clustering or gluing together tasks; comparative advantage stimulates unbundling and specialisation. Our results show that on average the Netherlands has witnessed unbundling in the period 1996-2005. So, on average the advantages of specialisation have increased. These developments can explain to a considerable extent changes in the structure of employment. Especially at the spatial level, our approach explains a substantial part of the increase in offshoring during this period.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 161.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:161

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bosch, Nicole & ter Weel, Bas, 2013. "Labour-Market Outcomes of Older Workers in the Netherlands: Measuring Job Prospects Using the Occupational Age Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 7252, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Semih Akcomak & Henri de Groot & Stefan Groot, 2013. "The impact of trade, offshoring and multinationals on job loss and job finding," CPB Discussion Paper, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis 252, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  3. Nicole Bosch & Bas ter Weel, 2013. "Labour-market outcomes of older workers in the Netherlands: Measuring job prospects using the occupational age structure," CPB Discussion Paper, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis 234, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. Kok, Suzanne & ter Weel, Bas, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 8053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Nicole Bosch & Bas ter Weel, 2013. "Labour-Market Outcomes of Older Workers in the Netherlands: Measuring Job Prospects Using the Occupational Age Structure," De Economist, Springer, Springer, vol. 161(2), pages 199-218, June.
  6. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," CPB Discussion Paper, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis 269, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  7. Hugo Rojas-Romagosa, 2011. "Wage inequality in trade-in-tasks models," CPB Discussion Paper, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis 196, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  8. Semih Akcomak & Suzanne Kok & Hugo Rojas-Romagosa, 2013. "The effects of technology and offshoring on changes in employment and task-content of occupations," CPB Discussion Paper, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis 233, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

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