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Are Britain's Workplace Skills Becoming More Unequal?

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  • Felstead, Alan
  • Ashton, David
  • Green, Francis

Abstract

It has been argued that workplace skills are becoming more polarised in Britain. This tendency is sometimes considered to be a factor contributing to the process of social exclusion and growing wage inequality. Skill polarisation has therefore been the focus of renewed academic and--since the election of the Labour government--political interest. In some respects, previous survey evidence for the 1980s can be used to support the skill polarisation thesis. This paper investigates whether the process has continued into the 1990s among those in work. Our main finding is that there has been no overriding process of skill polarisation between 1992 and 1997. However, the picture is complex, with losers as well as winners. Among the winners are full-timers, employees and those employed by "modern" organisations. The losers, on the other hand, include those in part-time work, the self-employed and those employed in organisations with less progressive management practices. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Felstead, Alan & Ashton, David & Green, Francis, 2000. "Are Britain's Workplace Skills Becoming More Unequal?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(6), pages 709-727, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:24:y:2000:i:6:p:709-27
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    Cited by:

    1. Garnero, Andrea & Kampelmann, Stephan & Rycx, Francois, 2013. "Part-time Work, Wages and Productivity: Evidence from Belgian Matched Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 7789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Borghans L. & Weel B. ter, 2000. "How computerizaton changes the UK Labour Market: The Facts viewed from a new Perspective," ROA Working Paper 010, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).

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