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Explaining job polarisation in Spain from a task perspective

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  • Raquel Sebastian

    () (University of Salamanca)

Abstract

This paper presents new evidence on the evolution of job polarisation in Spain between 1994 and 2014. After showing the U-shaped relationship between employment share growth and job’s percentile in the wage distribution, I use the task approach to investigate the main determinants behind job polarisation. Using the European Working Condition Survey I analyse in detail the task content of the jobs which display the most significant employment changes. I show that changes in employment shares are negatively related to the initial level of routine. I then explore the impact of computerisation on routine task inputs and I find that the routine measure is negatively related to computerisation. Finally, by using information on past jobs, I provide evidence on the displacement of middle-paid workers. Results suggest that they did not predominantly relocate their labour supply to bottom-paid occupations: while non-graduate middle workers move towards bottom occupations, graduate middle employees shift towards top occupations. This fact suggests that supply-side changes are important factors in explaining the expansion at the lower and upper tail of the employment distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Raquel Sebastian, 2018. "Explaining job polarisation in Spain from a task perspective," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 215-248, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:series:v:9:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s13209-018-0177-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s13209-018-0177-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Piotr Lewandowski & Roma Keister & Wojciech Hardy & Szymon Gorka, 2017. "Routine and ageing? The Intergenerational Divide In The Deroutinisation Of Jobs In Europe," IBS Working Papers 01/2017, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    4. Naticchioni, Paolo & Ragusa, Giuseppe & Massari, Riccardo, 2014. "Unconditional and Conditional Wage Polarization in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 8465, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. 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.
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    7. Andrea Salvatori, 2018. "The anatomy of job polarisation in the UK," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 52(1), pages 1-15, December.
    8. David H. Autor & Michael J. Handel, 2013. "Putting Tasks to the Test: Human Capital, Job Tasks, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages 59-96.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian, Raquel & Harrison, Scott, 2017. "Beyond technological explanations of employment polarisation in Spain," GLO Discussion Paper Series 154, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Sebastian Lago Raquel & Federico Biagi, 2018. "The Routine Biased Technical Change hypothesis: a critical review," JRC Working Papers JRC113174, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job polarisation; Structural change; Routine employment; Occupational mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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