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Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain

  • Maarten Goos
  • Alan Manning

This paper argues that skill-biased technical change has some deficiencies as a hypothesis about the impact of technology on the labor market and that a more nuanced view recently proposed by Autor, Levy and Murnane (2003) is a more accurate description. The difference between the two hypotheses is in the prediction about what is happening to employment in low-wage jobs. This paper presents evidence that employment in the UK is polarizing into lovely and lousy jobs and that a plausible explanation for this is the Autor, Levy and Murnane hypothesis.

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File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0604.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0604.

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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0604
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  2. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  3. Machin, S. & Van Reenen, J., 1997. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," Papers 24, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  4. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 1993. "Wage Dispersion, Returns to Skill, and Black-White Wage Differentials," Working Papers 691, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. E Berman & J Bound & Stephen Machin, 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0367, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Timothy Dunne & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2000. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment," NBER Working Papers 7465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chinhui Juhn, 1994. "Wage Inequality and Industrial Change: Evidence from Five Decades," NBER Working Papers 4684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. ""Overeducation" in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-22, April.
  12. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 1996. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," NBER Working Papers 5626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Chinhui Juhn, 1999. "Wage inequality and demand for skill: Evidence from five decades," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(3), pages 424-443, April.
  14. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  15. Arnaud Chevalier, 2000. "Graduate over-education in the UK," CEE Discussion Papers 0007, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  16. F Green & Steven McIntosh & Anna Vignoles, 1999. "Overeducation and Skills - Clarifying the Concepts," CEP Discussion Papers dp0435, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. Henry S. Farber, 1997. "Job Creation in the United States: Good Jobs or Bad?," Working Papers 764, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  18. Chinhui Juhn, 1999. "Wage Inequality and Demand for Skill: Evidence from Five Decades," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(3), pages 424-443, April.
  19. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  20. Machin, Steve, 1994. "Changes in the Relative Demand for Skills in the UK Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 952, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Baumol, William J, 1972. "Macroeconomics of Unbalanced Growth: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 150, March.
  22. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  23. Francis Green & Steven McIntosh, 2007. "Is there a genuine under-utilization of skills amongst the over-qualified?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 427-439.
  24. Spitz, Alexandra, 2003. "IT Capital, Job Content and Educational Attainment," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  25. Thomas Lemieux, 2002. "Decomposing changes in wage distributions: a unified approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 646-688, November.
  26. Teulings, Coen N, 2000. "Aggregation Bias in Elasticities of Substitution and the Minimum Wage Paradox," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 359-98, May.
  27. David S. Lee, 1999. "WAGE INEQUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE 1980s: RISING DISPERSION OR FALLING MINIMUM WAGE?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 977-1023, August.
  28. Maury B. Gittleman & David R. Howell, 1995. "Changes in the Structure and Quality of Jobs in the United States: Effects by Race and Gender, 1973–1990," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(3), pages 420-440, April.
  29. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1993. "Occupational Change and the Demand for Skill, 1940-1990," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 122-36, May.
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