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The Polarization of Employment in German Local Labor Markets

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  • Charlotte Senftleben
  • Hanna Wielandt
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    Abstract

    This paper uses the task-based view of technological change to study employment and wage polarization at the level of local labor markets in Germany between 1979 and 2007. In order to directly relate technological change to subsequent employment trends, we exploit variation in the regional task structure which reflects a region’s potential of being affected by computerization. We build a measure of regional routine intensity to test whether there has been a reallocation from routine towards non-routine labor conditional on a region’s initial computerization potential. We find that routine intensive regions have witnessed a differential reallocation towards non-routine employment and an increase in low- and medium-skilled service occupations. Our results corroborate the predictions of the task-based framework and confirm previous evidence on employment polarization in Germany in the sense that employment growth deteriorates at the middle of the skill distribution relative to the lower and the upper tail of the distribution.

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    File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2012-013.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2012-013.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2012-013

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    Keywords: Job Tasks; Polarization; Technological Change; Service Occupations; Regional Labor Markets;

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    3. Antonczyk, Dirk & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2010. "Rising Wage Inequality, the Decline of Collective Bargaining, and the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 4911, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    6. repec:kas:wpaper:2006-81 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Matthias Weiss, 2004. "Skill-Biased Technological Change: Is there Hope for the Unskilled?," MEA discussion paper series 04045, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
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    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Dauth, Wolfgang, 2010. "Agglomeration and regional employment growth," IAB Discussion Paper 201007, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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