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The Polarization of Employment in German Local Labor Markets

  • Charlotte Senftleben
  • Hanna Wielandt
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    This paper uses the task-based view of technological change to study employment and wage polarization at the level of local labor markets in Germany between 1979 and 2007. In order to directly relate technological change to subsequent employment trends, we exploit variation in the regional task structure which reflects a region’s potential of being affected by computerization. We build a measure of regional routine intensity to test whether there has been a reallocation from routine towards non-routine labor conditional on a region’s initial computerization potential. We find that routine intensive regions have witnessed a differential reallocation towards non-routine employment and an increase in low- and medium-skilled service occupations. Our results corroborate the predictions of the task-based framework and confirm previous evidence on employment polarization in Germany in the sense that employment growth deteriorates at the middle of the skill distribution relative to the lower and the upper tail of the distribution.

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    File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2012-013.pdf
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    Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2012-013.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2012-013
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    Web page: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de
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    1. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
    3. Kohn, Karsten, 2006. "Rising Wage Dispersion, After All! The German Wage Structure at the Turn of the Century," IZA Discussion Papers 2098, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Johannes Gernandt & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2006. "Rising Wage Inequality in Germany," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 06-12, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
    5. Dustmann, Christian & Ludsteck, Johannes & Schönberg, Uta, 2007. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 2685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The Skill Content Of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1279-1333, November.
    7. Antonczyk, Dirk & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2010. "Rising wage inequality, the decline of collective bargaining, and the gender wage gap," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-014, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Autor, David & Dorn, David, 2009. "Inequality and Specialization: The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 4290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    10. Antonczyk, Dirk & DeLeire, Thomas & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 2010. "Polarization and rising wage inequality: comparing the U.S. and Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-015, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Marianne Bertrand & Francis Kramarz, 2001. "Does Entry Regulation Hinder Job Creation ? Evidence from the French Retail Industry," Working Papers 2001-12, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
    12. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
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    14. Sandra E. Black & Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2010. "Explaining Women's Success: Technological Change and the Skill Content of Women's Work," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 187-194, February.
    15. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
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    19. repec:kas:wpaper:2006-81 is not listed on IDEAS
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