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The March of the Techies: Job Polarization Within and Between Firms

Author

Listed:
  • James Harrigan

    (University of Virginia [Charlottesville], NBER - The National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • Ariell Reshef

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Farid Toubal

    (ENS Paris Saclay - Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique, CESifo - Center for Economic Studies and Ifo for Economic Research - CESifo Group Munich, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)

Abstract

Using administrative employee-firm-level data on the entire private sector from 1994 to 2007, we show that the labor market in France has polarized: employment shares of high and low wage occupations grew, while middle wage occupations shrank. At the same time, the share of technology-related occupations ("techies") grew substantially. Aggregate polarization was driven mostly by changes in the composition of firms within industries. Within-firm adjustments and changes in industry composition were much less important. Polarization occured mostly within urban areas, with roughly equal contributions of men and women. We study the role of technology adoption in shaping firm-level outcomes using a new measure of the propensity of a firm to adopt new technology: its employment share of techies. We find that techies were an important force driving aggregate polarization in France, as firms with more techies grew faster.

Suggested Citation

  • James Harrigan & Ariell Reshef & Farid Toubal, 2021. "The March of the Techies: Job Polarization Within and Between Firms," Post-Print halshs-02973332, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-02973332
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2020.104008
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02973332
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    Cited by:

    1. James Harrigan & Ariell Reshef & Farid Toubal, 2018. "Techies, Trade, and Skill-Biased Productivity," NBER Working Papers 25295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Mayda, Anna Maria & Orefice, Gianluca & Santoni, Gianluca, 2022. "Skilled Immigration, Task Allocation and the Innovation of Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 15693, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Axelle Arquié & Julia Bertin, 2022. "The Heterogenous Effects of Employers’ Concentration on Wages: Better Sorting or Uneven Rent Extracting?," Working Papers 2022-09, CEPII research center.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm level data; techies; Technological change; STEM skills; Job polarization; Offshoring;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F66 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Labor

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