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Job polarization, job tasks and the role of firms

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  • Heyman, Fredrik

Abstract

Using detailed Swedish matched employer–employee data, I show evidence of within-firm job polarization. Applying a decomposition framework, I find that both within-firm and between-firm components are important for overall job polarization. Results also indicate that the degree of routineness is the most important explanation for the observed within-firm pattern. Bringing the analysis down to the firm level seems to confirm the important role played by routine-biased technological change.

Suggested Citation

  • Heyman, Fredrik, 2016. "Job polarization, job tasks and the role of firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 246-251.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:145:y:2016:i:c:p:246-251
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2016.06.032
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Davidson, Carl & Heyman, Fredrik & Matusz, Steven & Sjöholm, Fredrik & Zhu, Susan Chun, 2014. "Globalization and imperfect labor market sorting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 177-194.
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    6. David H. Autor & David Dorn, 2013. "The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the US Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1553-1597, August.
    7. Graetz, Georg & Michaels, Guy, 2015. "Robots at work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 61155, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    9. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
    10. Georg Graetz & Guy Michaels, 2015. "Robots at work: the impact on productivity and jobs," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance 447, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 189-194, May.
    12. Erling Barth & Alex Bryson & James C. Davis & Richard Freeman, 2016. "It's Where You Work: Increases in the Dispersion of Earnings across Establishments and Individuals in the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S2), pages 67-97.
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    14. David H. Autor, 2015. "Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The History and Future of Workplace Automation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
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    16. Pekkala Kerr, Sari & Maczulskij, Terhi & Maliranta, Mika, 2016. "Within and Between Firm Trends in Job Polarization: Role of Globalization and Technology," ETLA Working Papers 41, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
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    18. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacob Rubæk Holm & Christian Richter Østergaard, 2018. "The high importance of de-industrialization and job polarization for regional diversification," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1821, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised May 2018.
    2. Jacob Rubak Holm & Bram Timmermans & Christian Richter Ostergaard, 2017. "The impact of multinational R&D spending firms on job polarization and mobility," JRC Working Papers JRC108560, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    3. Gustavsson, Magnus, 2017. "Is Job Polarization a Recent Phenomenon? Evidence from Sweden, 1950–2013, and a Comparison to the United States," Working Paper Series 2017:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job polarization; Job tasks; Routinization; Automation; Matched employer–employee data;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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