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Measuring and Interpreting Trends in the Division of Labour in the Netherlands

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Author Info

  • Akçomak, I. Semih

    ()
    (Middle East Technical University)

  • Borghans, Lex

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

  • ter Weel, Bas

    ()
    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

This paper introduces indicators about the division of labour to measure and interpret recent trends in the structure of employment in the Netherlands. 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 organisation of work is determined by an equilibrium of forces that glue tasks together or unbundle them. Communication costs are the main force for clustering or gluing together tasks; comparative advantage stimulates unbundling and specialisation. The estimates suggest that on average the Netherlands has witnessed unbundling in the period 1996-2005, which implies that advantages of specialisation have increased. These developments explain to a considerable extent changes in the structure of employment. Especially at the spatial level it explains a substantial part of the increase in offshoring tasks abroad.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5666.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: De Economist, 2011, 159 (4), 435-482
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5666

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Keywords: technological change; tasks; division of labour; the Netherlands;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kok, Suzanne & ter Weel, Bas, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 8053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  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. 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.
  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. 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).
  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 & 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.

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