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IT Skills, Occupation Specificity and Job Separations

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  • Christian Eggenberger
  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

Abstract

This paper examines how workers' earnings change after involuntary job separations depending on the workers' acquired IT skills and the specificity of their occupational training. We categorize workers' occupational skill bundles along two independent dimensions. First, we distinguish between skill bundles that are more specific or less specific compared to the skill bundles needed in the overall labor market. Second, as digitalization becomes ever more important, we distinguish between skill bundles that contain two different types of IT skills, generic or expert IT skills. We expect that after involuntary separations, these different types of IT skills can have opposing effects, either reducing or amplifying earnings losses of workers with specific skill bundles. We find clearly opposing results for workers in specific occupations - but not in general occupations: Having more generic IT skills is positively correlated with earnings after involuntary separations, whereas more expert IT skills is negatively correlated.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Eggenberger & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2020. "IT Skills, Occupation Specificity and Job Separations," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0172, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Oct 2022.
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0172
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    3. Andreas F. Buehler & Patrick Lehnert & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2023. "Curriculum Updates in Vocational Education and Changes in Graduates' Skills and Wages," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0205, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    IT Skills; human capital specificity; vocational education and training;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • M53 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Training

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