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That was then, this is now: skills and routinization in the 2000s

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  • Davide Consoli
  • Francesco Vona
  • Francesco Rentocchini

Abstract

We analyze changes in the skill content of occupations in US four-digit manufacturing industries between 1999 and 2010. Following a “task-based” approach, we elaborate a measure of non-routine skill intensity that captures the effects of industry exposure to both technology and international trade. The article adds to previous literature by focusing on both the determinants of demand for non-routine skills and their effects on industry productivity and wages. The key finding is that import competition from low-wage countries has been a strong driver of demand for non-routine skills during the 2000s. Both technology and trade with low-wage countries are associated with mild cross-industry convergence in skill intensity, while trade with high- and medium-wage countries are at the root of persistent heterogeneity across occupational groups. We also find that higher non-routine skill intensity has had, at best, a modest effect on productivity and wages, except in high-skill occupations.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide Consoli & Francesco Vona & Francesco Rentocchini, 2016. "That was then, this is now: skills and routinization in the 2000s," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(5), pages 847-866.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:25:y:2016:i:5:p:847-866.
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    Cited by:

    1. Consoli, Davide & Marin, Giovanni & Marzucchi, Alberto & Vona, Francesco, 2016. "Do green jobs differ from non-green jobs in terms of skills and human capital?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 1046-1060.
    2. Consoli, Davide & Rentocchini, Francesco, 2015. "A taxonomy of multi-industry labour force skills," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 1116-1132.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:463-:d:131183 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Eddy Bekkers & Michael Landesmann & Indre Macskasi, 2017. "Trade in Services versus Trade in Manufactures: The Relation between the Role of Tacit Knowledge, the Scope for Catch up, and Income Elasticity," wiiw Working Papers 139, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    5. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:12:p:2676-2703 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Michele Raitano & Francesco Vona, 2017. "Competition, firm size and returns to skills: Evidence from currency shocks and market liberalisations," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(12), pages 2676-2703, December.

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    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • 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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