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The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks

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Listed:
  • Paul Beaudry
  • David A. Green
  • Benjamin M. Sand

Abstract

This paper argues that several of the poor labor market outcomes observed in the Great Recession can be traced back to a change in the demand pattern for skilled workers that started with the tech bust of 2000. In particular, we show that around the year 2000, the demand for cognitive tasks underwent a reversal. In response, high-skilled workers moved down the occupational ladder and increasingly displaced lower-educated workers in less skill-intensive jobs. While these effects were present before the financial crisis of 2008, they became more obvious after jobs associated with the housing bubble disappeared.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Beaudry & David A. Green & Benjamin M. Sand, 2016. "The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 199-247.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/682347
    DOI: 10.1086/682347
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • 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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