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Skill demand and the comparative advantage of age: Jobs tasks and earnings from the 1980s to the 2000s in Germany

  • Gordo, Laura Romeu
  • Skirbekk, Vegard
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    We study the impact of rapid technological change on age and cohort variation in type of work and wages among German men for the 1986–2006 period. Using a task-based approach, we analyze the consequences that technological progress had on changes in the distribution of tasks performed by the men and the relative wages they received. Technological changes implied fewer physically demanding job tasks and a growing use of cognitive skills, particularly tasks where fluid cognitive abilities are important. A number of earlier physiological and cognitive studies suggest that younger workers have a comparative advantage in terms of physically demanding work and fluid cognitive abilities.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537112001029
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 61-69

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:22:y:2013:i:c:p:61-69
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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    2. BEHAGHEL Luc & GREENAN Nathalie, 2007. "Training and age-biased technical change," Research Unit Working Papers 0705, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
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    5. Antonczyk, Dirk & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Leuschner, Ute, 2009. "Can a Task-Based Approach Explain the Recent Changes in the German Wage Structure?," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-132, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Black, Sandra E. & Spitz-Oener, Alexandra, 2007. "Explaining Women’s Success: Technological Change and the Skill Content of Women’s Work," IZA Discussion Papers 2803, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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