IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Cambio técnico y polarización en el mercado laboral. Evidencia para Colombia


  • Medina, Carlos

    (Banco de la República de Colombia)

  • Posso, Christian

    (Banco de la República de Colombia)


Background: The canonical model of the labor market (Acemoglu, 2002), with two skill groups performing two distinct and imperfectly substitutable tasks, has proven to be unable to explain some features of the labor market. We test whether there is enough evidence in favor of the polarization hypothesis on the Colombia labor market. Methods: We use occupations descriptions to build technology-use related tasks intensities, and match them to series of cross sections of household survey data in order to evaluate to what extent the reallocation of workers across occupations that require different tasks intensities are consistent with the Polarization hypothesis. Results: We find an increase of employments at the extremes of the wage or skill occupations distribution, particularly pronounced in the period when the availability of technologies increased, and their prices substantially dropped. Conclusions: Overall, our results provide support for the polarization hypothesis in Colombia.// Antecedentes: El modelo canónico del mercado de trabajo (Acemoglu, 2002), con dos grupos de mano de obra cualificada que realizan dos tareas distintas e imperfectamente sustituibles, ha demostrado ser incapaz de explicar algunas características del mercado de trabajo. Se evalúa si hay suficientes evidencias que respalden la hipótesis de que existe una polarización en el caso del mercado laboral colombiano. Métodos: Se utilizan descripciones de ocupaciones para construir intensidades de tareas relacionadas con el uso de la tecnología y se las pone en correspondencia con series desecciones representativas de encuestas aplicadas en los hogares para evaluar hasta qué grado la reasignación de trabajadores por medio de ocupaciones que requieren diferentes intensidades de tareas es consistente con la hipótesis de la polarización. Resultados: Se encontró un incremento del empleo en los extremos de la distribución de los salarios y/o las ocupaciones cualificadas, particularmente pronunciado en el periodo en el que aumentó la disponibilidad de tecnologías, y los precios de éstas disminuyeron considerablemente. Conclusiones: En general, los resultados aportan evidencia a favor de la hipótesis de la polarización del mercado laboral en Colombia.

Suggested Citation

  • Medina, Carlos & Posso, Christian, 2018. "Cambio técnico y polarización en el mercado laboral. Evidencia para Colombia," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(338), pages .365-411, abril-jun.
  • Handle: RePEc:elt:journl:v:85:y:2018:i:338:p:365-411

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    More about this item


    desigualdad salarial; modelo canónico del mercado laboral; hipótesis de polarización;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:elt:journl:v:85:y:2018:i:338:p:365-411. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Nuria Pliego Vinageras (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.