Trends in Direct Measures of Job Skill Requirements
AbstractIt is commonly assumed that jobs in the United Sates require ever greater levels of skill and, more strongly, that this trend is accelerating as a result of the diffusion of information technology. This has led to substantial concern over the possibility of a growing mismatch between the skills workers possess and the skills employers demand, reflected in debates over the need for education reform and the causes of the growth in earnings inequality. However, efforts to measure trends have been hampered by the lack of direct measures of job skill requirements. This paper uses previously unexamined measures from the quality of Employment Surveys and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine trends in job education and training requirements and provide a validation tool for skill measures in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, whose quality has long been subject to question. Results indicate that job skill requirements have increased steadily from the 1970s through the 1990s but that there has been no acceleration in recent years that might explain the growth in earnings inequality. There has also been no dramatic change in the number of workers who are undereducated. These results reinforce the conclusions of earlier work that reports of a growing skills mismatch are likely overdrawn.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Levy Economics Institute, The in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_301.
Date of creation: May 2000
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- David R. Howell & Edward N. Wolff, 1991. "Trends in the growth and distribution of skills in the U.S. workplace, 1960û1985," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(3), pages 486-502, April.
- David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003.
"The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration,"
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
- David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The Skill Content Of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1279-1333, November.
- David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Auray, Stéphane & Danthine, Samuel, 2005. "Bargaining Frictions and Hours Worked," IZA Discussion Papers 1722, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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