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Automation and Job Polarization: On the Decline of Middling Occupations in Europe

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  • Vahagn Jerbashian

Abstract

Using data from 10 Western European countries, I provide evidence that the fall in prices of information technologies (IT) is associated with a lower share of employment in middle wage occupations and a higher share of employment in high wage occupations. The decline in IT prices has no robust effect on the share of employment in the lowest paid occupations. Similar results hold within gender, age and education-level groups, with notable differences in these groups. For instance, the share of employment in high wage occupations among females has increased more than among males with the fall in IT prices. This is consistent with arguments that women hold a comparative advantage in communication and social skills, which are complementary to IT and in demand in high wage occupations.

Suggested Citation

  • Vahagn Jerbashian, 2016. "Automation and Job Polarization: On the Decline of Middling Occupations in Europe," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp576, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp576
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    as
    1. Vahagn Jerbashian & Anna Kochanova, 2016. "The impact of doing business regulations on investments in ICT," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 991-1008, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lewandowski, Piotr & Keister, Roma & Hardy, Wojciech & Górka, Szymon, 2020. "Ageing of routine jobs in Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 44(4).
    2. Antón, José-Ignacio & Fernández-Macías, Enrique & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2020. "Does Robotization Affect Job Quality? Evidence from European Regional Labour Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 13975, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Jerbashian, Vahagn, 2021. "Trade in information technologies and changes in the demand for occupations," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    4. José‐Ignacio Antón & Enrique Fernández‐Macías & Rudolf Winter‐Ebmer, 2023. "Does robotization affect job quality? Evidence from European regional labor markets," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 233-256, July.
    5. Albinowski, Maciej & Lewandowski, Piotr, 2022. "The Impact of ICT and Robots on Labour Market Outcomes of Demographic Groups in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 15752, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Lucas van der Velde, 2020. "Within Occupation Wage Dispersion and the Task Content of Jobs," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(5), pages 1161-1197, October.
    7. Vahagn Jerbashian & Montserrat Vilalta-Bufi, 2020. "The Impact of ICT on Working from Home: Evidence from EU Countries," UB School of Economics Working Papers 2020/404, University of Barcelona School of Economics.
    8. Fernández-Macías, Enrique & Klenert, David & Antón, José-Ignacio, 2021. "Not so disruptive yet? Characteristics, distribution and determinants of robots in Europe," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 76-89.
    9. Yang, Siying & Liu, Fengshuo & Lu, Jingjing & He, Xiaogang, 2022. "Does occupational injury promote industrial robot applications?," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    10. Vahagn Jerbashian, 2022. "On the Elasticity of Substitution between Labor and ICT and IP Capital and Traditional Capital," CESifo Working Paper Series 9989, CESifo.
    11. Nicola Pontarollo & Carolina Serpieri, 2021. "Challenges and Opportunities to Regional Renewal in the European Union," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 44(1), pages 142-169, January.
    12. Gu, Ke & Stoyanov, Andrey, 2022. "Female Labor Supply and International Trade," MPRA Paper 111778, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Albinowski, Maciej & Lewandowski, Piotr, 2024. "The impact of ICT and robots on labour market outcomes of demographic groups in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    14. AndrÉ van Hoorn, 2022. "Automatability of Work and Preferences for Redistribution," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 84(1), pages 130-157, February.
    15. Vahagn Jerbashian & Montserrat Vilalta-Bufí, 2022. "Working from home, pandemic, occupations, industries," UB School of Economics Working Papers 2022/427, University of Barcelona School of Economics.
    16. Christenko, Aleksandr, 2022. "Automation and occupational mobility: A task and knowledge-based approach," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    17. Alexandri, Eva & Antón, José-Ignacio & Lewney, Richard, 2024. "The impact of climate change mitigation policies on European labour markets," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 216(C).
    18. Vahagn Jerbashian & Montserrat Vilalta-Bufí, 2022. "Working from Home in European Countries before and during the Covid-19 Pandemic," CESifo Working Paper Series 9932, CESifo.
    19. Kerstin Hotte & Melline Somers & Angelos Theodorakopoulos, 2022. "Technology and jobs: A systematic literature review," Papers 2204.01296, arXiv.org.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    job polarization; information technologies; gender; age; education-level;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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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