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Is There Job Polarization in Developing Economies? A Review and Outlook

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  • Antonio Martins-Neto
  • Nanditha Mathew
  • Pierre Mohnen
  • Tania Treibich

Abstract

This paper analyses the evidence of job polarization in developing and emerging economies. We carry out an extensive literature review, revealing that job polarization in these countries is only incipient compared to other advanced economies. We then examine the possible moderating aspects explaining this job polarization paradox. Overall, the literature relates the lack of polarization to limited technology adoption, structural change, and the offshoring of routine, middle-earning jobs from advanced to developing economies. Furthermore, the limited technology adoption results from lower capabilities in those economies, including the insufficient supply of educated workers. Policies supporting technological development in these countries, therefore, need to address those labor constraints as well as create a safety net to support the workers harmed by such a transition. Finally, new microeconomic data and empirical analyses should be developed in order to guide evidence-based policymaking addressing those issues in developing and emerging economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Martins-Neto & Nanditha Mathew & Pierre Mohnen & Tania Treibich, 2021. "Is There Job Polarization in Developing Economies? A Review and Outlook," CESifo Working Paper Series 9444, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_9444
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    Cited by:

    1. Martins-Neto, Antonio & Cirera, Xavier & Coad, Alex, 2022. "Routine-biased technological change and employee outcomes after mass layoffs: Evidence from Brazil," MERIT Working Papers 2022-014, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    job polarization; technology adoption; tasks; developing countries;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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