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The effects of technology and offshoring on changes in employment and task-content of occupations

  • Semih Akcomak

    ()

  • Suzanne Kok

    ()

  • Hugo Rojas-Romagosa

    ()

Combining employment data with the British Skill Survey (BSS) –which has comparable within-occupation task data for three waves: 1997, 2001 and 2006– we analyse employment changes between occupations (extensive margin) and within occupations (intensive margin). First, we find that the task-content of occupations (i.e. the intensive margin) has experienced significant changes in the United Kingdom between 1997 and 2006. Second, our econometric results suggest that these intensive margin changes can be explained by technological improvements (SBTC) and unionisation levels, while offshoring has not been a factor explaining how tasks are organized within occupations. Analysing changes at the extensive margin we confirm previous findings in the literature: there has been job polarization for both the UK and the Netherlands, and this job polarization can be explained by both SBTC and offshoring, though SBTC seems to be a more influential factor.

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Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 233.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:233
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  1. Guy Michaels & Ashwini Natraj & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over 25 years," NBER Working Papers 16138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-97, December.
  3. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarization of work in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20002, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Nick Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2009. "The distinct effects of information technology and communication technology on firm organization," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25477, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Alex Bryson, 2004. "Unions And Employment Growth In British Workplaces During The 1990s: A Panel Analysis," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(4), pages 477-506, 09.
  6. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  7. Akçomak, I. Semih & Borghans, Lex & ter Weel, Bas, 2011. "Measuring and Interpreting Trends in the Division of Labour in the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 5666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. David H. Autor & Michael J. Handel, 2009. "Putting Tasks to the Test: Human Capital, Job Tasks and Wages," NBER Working Papers 15116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Autor, David & Dorn, David, 2012. "The Growth of Low Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 7068, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2009. "Alternative Measures of Offshorability: A Survey Approach," NBER Working Papers 15287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
  13. Jonathan Vogel & Arnaud Costinot, 2008. "Matching and Inequality in the World Economy," 2008 Meeting Papers 879, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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