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Delving into the Demand Side: Changes in Workplace Specialization and Job Polarization

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  • Cortes, Guido Matias

    () (York University, Canada)

  • Salvatori, Andrea

    () (OECD)

Abstract

This paper offers the first study of job polarization in Great Britain using workplace level data. We document widespread and increasing occupational specialization within establishments, along with substantial heterogeneity in specialization within industries. Changes in the specialization profiles of workplaces account for most of the changes in the aggregate occupational shares between 1998 and 2011. The sharp rise in the fraction of workplaces specializing in non-routine tasks is associated with a large increase in the concentration of non-routine workers in workplaces that specialize in such occupations. We find no evidence of a decline in routine employment among establishments that report the adoption of new technologies, as would be expected from the standard routine-biased technological change hypothesis. Instead, we uncover new evidence that suggests that the increase in non-routine cognitive workplaces is linked to the growth in outsourcing of cognitive tasks.

Suggested Citation

  • Cortes, Guido Matias & Salvatori, Andrea, 2016. "Delving into the Demand Side: Changes in Workplace Specialization and Job Polarization," IZA Discussion Papers 10120, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10120
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Schaefer & Carl Singleton, 2017. "Recent Changes in British Wage Inequality: Evidence from Firms and Occupations," 2017 Meeting Papers 459, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Maarten Goos & Melanie Arntz & Ulrich Zierahn & Terry Gregory & Stephanie Carretero Gomez & Ignacio Gonzalez Vazquez & Koen Jonkers, 2019. "The Impact of Technological Innovation on the Future of Work," JRC Working Papers on Labour, Education and Technology 2019-03, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    3. repec:wfo:monber:y:2018:i:3:p:177-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Arntz, Melanie & Gregory, Terry & Zierahn, Ulrich, 2019. "Digitalization and the Future of Work: Macroeconomic Consequences," IZA Discussion Papers 12428, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Arntz, Melanie & Gregory, Terry & Zierahn, Ulrich, 2019. "Digitalization and the future of work: Macroeconomic consequences," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-024, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    job polarization; technology; firm-level data; outsourcing;

    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

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