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The Impact of the Great Recession on Employment Polarization in Spain

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Listed:
  • Brindusa Anghel
  • Sara De la Rica
  • Aitor Lacuesta

Abstract

This article analyzes changes in the occupational employment share in Spain for the period 1997-2012 and the way particular sociodemographic groups adapt to those changes. There seems to be clear evidence of employment polarization between 1997 and 2012 that accelerates over the recession. Changes in the composition of the labour supply cannot explain the increase in the share of occupations at the low end of the wage distribution. Sector reallocation may have partially contributed to explain the polarization process in Spain during the years of expansion (1997-2007) but it is a minor factor during the recession. The polarization of occupations within sectors observed, especially during the recession, appears to be related to a decline in routine tasks which is compensated by an increase in occupations with non-routine service contents, which are found both in the low and high end of the wage distribution. Instead, jobs with a higher degree of abstract contents do not appear to increase their share in total employment during these 15 years. The paper finds that this process has affected males more strongly than females because of their higher concentration in occupations more focused on routine tasks. Among males, for workers under 30 years old, we find a decrease in the share of occupations with more routine tasks which turns into increases in those with more abstract content and particularly with more non-routine service content. Instead, male workers over 30 years old seem to remain in declining occupations to a greater extent. Females of different ages are not affected by the abovementioned changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Brindusa Anghel & Sara De la Rica & Aitor Lacuesta, 2014. "The Impact of the Great Recession on Employment Polarization in Spain," Studies on the Spanish Economy eee2014-09, FEDEA.
  • Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaeee:eee2014-09
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian, Raquel & Harrison, Scott, 2017. "Beyond technological explanations of employment polarisation in Spain," GLO Discussion Paper Series 154, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Kopytov, Alexandr & Roussanov, Nikolai & Taschereau-Dumouchel, Mathieu, 2018. "Short-run pain, long-run gain? Recessions and technological transformation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 29-44.
    3. Jan Svejnar & Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde, 2015. "Productivity and Inequality Effects of Rapid Labor Reallocation – Insights from a Meta-Analysis of Studies on Transition," Working Papers 2015-11, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    4. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas Velde & Jan Svejnar, 2017. "Effects Of Labor Reallocation On Productivity And Inequality—Insights From Studies On Transition," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 712-732, July.
    5. Sebastian Lago Raquel & Federico Biagi, 2018. "The Routine Biased Technical Change hypothesis: a critical review," JRC Working Papers JRC113174, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    6. repec:spr:qualqt:v:52:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11135-017-0531-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Juan Jimeno & Tano Santos, 2014. "The crisis of the Spanish economy," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 125-141, August.
    8. repec:spr:series:v:9:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s13209-018-0177-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Davide Consoli & Mabel Sánchez-Barrioluengo, 2016. "Polarization and the growth of low-skill employment in Spanish Local Labor Markets," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1628, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Nov 2016.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • 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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