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Changes in the Functional Structure of Firms and the Demand for Skill

Author

Listed:
  • Eric Maurin

    (CRESTINSEE and CEPR)

  • David Thesmar

    (ENSAE-CREST and CEPR)

Abstract

We analyze recent changes in the occupational structure of French manufacturing firms. Firms employ a greater proportion of engineers working on the design and marketing of new products and a lower proportion of high-skill experts working in administration-related activities. Firms have also reduced the share of production-related activities at both the levels of high-skill and low-skill workers. We develop a labor demand model that shows the role played by technological change. New technologies make it possible to allocate more human resources to the activities that are the most difficult to program in advance.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Maurin & David Thesmar, 2004. "Changes in the Functional Structure of Firms and the Demand for Skill," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 639-664, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:22:y:2004:i:3:p:649-664
    DOI: 10.1086/383110
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • 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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