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Age, tasks and skills in European labour markets. Background paper for the world bank report “Growing United: Upgrading Europe’s Convergence Machine”

Author

Listed:
  • Szymon Gorka
  • Wojciech Hardy
  • Roma Keister
  • Piotr Lewandowski

Abstract

There are important intergenerational differences behind aggregate shifts away from manual jobs towards cognitive jobs, and away from routine work towards non-routine work. We study these age and cohort patterns in tasks and skills in European countries. Changes in the task composition were happening much faster among workers born in the 1970s and 1980s than among those born before 1970. The most routine occupations aged faster, while the least routine jobs slower than the average. Changes in the cohort-specific growth in the intensity of non-routine cognitive tasks and in the decline of the intensity of manual tasks can be attributed to changes in workforce upgrading – the rise in tertiary attainment was embodied in younger cohorts. By the 2010s, older workers across Europe were significantly less likely to be highly proficient in various skills, and significantly more likely to have low proficiency. These effects were visible among workers as young as 45 years, and were the most pronounced in the case of problems solving skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Szymon Gorka & Wojciech Hardy & Roma Keister & Piotr Lewandowski, 2017. "Age, tasks and skills in European labour markets. Background paper for the world bank report “Growing United: Upgrading Europe’s Convergence Machine”," IBS Research Reports 04/2017, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
  • Handle: RePEc:ibt:report:rr042017
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gimpelson, Vladimir & Kapeliushnikov, Rostislav, 2016. "Polarization or upgrading? Evolution of employment in transitional Russia," Russian Journal of Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 192-218.
    2. Omar S. Arias & Carolina Sánchez-Páramo & María E. Dávalos & Indhira Santos & Erwin R. Tiongson & Carola Gruen & Natasha de Andrade Falcão & Gady Saiovici & Cesar A. Cancho, 2014. "Back to Work : Growing with Jobs in Europe and Central Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 16570.
    3. Hummels, David & Munch, Jakob R. & Xiang, Chong, 2016. "Offshoring and Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 9741, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    5. Wojciech Hardy & Roma Keister & Piotr Lewandowski, 2016. "Do entrants take it all? The evolution of task content of jobs in Poland," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 47.
    6. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning & Anna Salomons, 2014. "Explaining Job Polarization: Routine-Biased Technological Change and Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2509-2526, August.
    7. Oesch, Daniel, 2013. "Occupational Change in Europe: How Technology and Education Transform the Job Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199680962.
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    9. repec:bla:etrans:v:26:y:2018:i:2:p:201-231 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    task content of jobs; routinisation; ageing; occupational change; skills; O*NET; PIAAC;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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