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Routinization-Biased Technical Change, Globalization and Labor Market Polarization: Does Theory Fit the Facts?

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  • JUNG J.
  • MERCENIER J.

Abstract

There is now ample evidence that jobs and wages have been polarizing at the extremes of the skill distribution since the early 90s. Autor, Levy and Murnane (2003) have suggested that this might be due to technology substituting more easily for labor in performing routine rather than non-routine tasks. Other potential explanations include globalization. Active empirical research has now identified important stylized facts. The aim of this paper is to provide a theoretical exploration of alternative potential causes to this labor market polarization, and to identify which, if any, are consistent with the stylized facts.

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Paper provided by ERMES, University Paris 2 in its series Working Papers ERMES with number 1006.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:erm:papers:1006

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  1. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Krugman, Paul R, 1981. "Intraindustry Specialization and the Gains from Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 959-73, October.
  3. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarization of work in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20002, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Emily Blanchard & Gerald Willmann, 2013. "Trade, Education, and The Shrinking Middle Class," Kiel Working Papers 1831, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  6. 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.
  7. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Barba Navaretti, Giorgio & Castellani, Davide & Disdier, Anne-Célia, 2006. "How Does Investing in Cheap Labour Countries Affect Performance at Home? France and Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Alan Manning, 2004. "We can work it out: the impact of technological change on the demand for low skill workers," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19948, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Weiss, Matthias, 2008. "Skill-biased technological change: Is there hope for the unskilled?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 439-441, September.
  11. 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.
  12. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "The Impact Of Outsourcing And High-Technology Capital On Wages: Estimates For The United States, 1979-1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 907-940, August.
  13. Alan Manning, 2004. "We Can Work It Out: the Impact of Technological Change on the Demand for Low Skill Workers," CEP Discussion Papers dp0640, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  15. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
  16. 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.
  17. Jung J. & Mercenier J., 2008. "A Simple Model of Offshore Outsourcing,Technology Upgrading and Welfare," Working Papers ERMES 0808, ERMES, University Paris 2.
  18. Pär Hansson, 2005. "Skill Upgrading and Production Transfer within Swedish Multinationals," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(4), pages 673-692, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Das, Satya P., 2011. "International trade and polarization in the labor market," Economics Discussion Papers 2011-48, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Anna Sabadash, 2013. "ICT-induced Technological Progress and Employment: A Literature Review," JRC-IPTS Working Papers on Digital Economy 2013-07, Institute of Prospective Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre.

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