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

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Author Info

  • Akcomak, I. Semih

    ()
    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, UNU-MERIT, and Maastricht University)

  • Borghans, Lex

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

  • Weel, Bas ter

    ()
    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, UNU-MERIT, and Maastricht University)

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 United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 060.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2010060

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Postal: P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht
Phone: (31) (0)43 3883875
Fax: (31) (0)43 3216518
Web page: http://www.merit.unu.edu/
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Keywords: offshoring; tasks; technology; trade; labour market;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Semih Akcomak & Henri de Groot & Stefan Groot, 2013. "The impact of trade, offshoring and multinationals on job loss and job finding," CPB Discussion Paper 252, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  2. 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 234, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  3. 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).
  4. 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, vol. 161(2), pages 199-218, June.
  5. 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 233, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

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