The Change of Job Opportunities: the Role of Computerization and Institutions
This paper studies the pattern of job opportunities over the last two decades in European countries. We find that the share of high-skilled jobs have been expanding over time, while the share of medium- skilled jobs have been declining. These changes are in line with the US patterns and, according to the previous literature, they come from recent technological changes. However, our data show an interesting difference between the US and Europe: in Europe there is not any increase in the share of low-skilled employment. Moreover, we find that the difference between the proportion of employment hired in low-skilled and medium-skilled jobs is negatively correlated with both the unemployment rate and the degree of employment protection in the labour market. We propose a theoretical model to study the effects of a technological shock on the employment structure in a unionized economy. By accounting for the collective bargaining process, our model may fit Continental Europe better than the previous ones. We conclude that the definition of the union policy is crucial in order to explain observed cross-country heterogeneity in low-skilled employment.
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- Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009.
"Revisiting the German Wage Structure,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881, May.
- Thomas Lemieux, 2008.
"The changing nature of wage inequality,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 21-48, January.
- Oesch, Daniel & Rodriguez Menes, Jorge, 2010. "Upgrading or polarization? Occupational change in Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, 1990-2008," MPRA Paper 21040, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Institutional Changes and Rising Wage Inequality: Is There a Linkage?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 75-96, Spring.
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