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Measuring and Interpreting Trends in the Division of Labour in the Netherlands

Author

Listed:
  • Akçomak, I. Semih

    () (Middle East Technical University)

  • Borghans, Lex

    () (Maastricht University)

  • ter Weel, Bas

    () (SEO Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper introduces indicators about the division of labour to measure and interpret recent trends in the structure of employment in the Netherlands. Changes in the division of labour occur at three different levels: the level of the individual worker, the level of the industry and the spatial level. At each level the organisation of work is determined by an equilibrium of forces that glue tasks together or unbundle them. Communication costs are the main force for clustering or gluing together tasks; comparative advantage stimulates unbundling and specialisation. The estimates suggest that on average the Netherlands has witnessed unbundling in the period 1996-2005, which implies that advantages of specialisation have increased. These developments explain to a considerable extent changes in the structure of employment. Especially at the spatial level it explains a substantial part of the increase in offshoring tasks abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Akçomak, I. Semih & Borghans, Lex & ter Weel, Bas, 2011. "Measuring and Interpreting Trends in the Division of Labour in the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 5666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5666
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicole Bosch & Bas ter Weel, 2013. "Labour-Market Outcomes of Older Workers in the Netherlands: Measuring Job Prospects Using the Occupational Age Structure," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(2), pages 199-218, June.
    2. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks, And Skills," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(5), pages 856-892, November.
    3. Semih Akcomak & Suzanne Kok & Hugo Rojas-Romagosa, 2013. "The effects of technology and offshoring on changes in employment and task-content of occupations," CPB Discussion Paper 233, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    4. Semih Akcomak & Henri de Groot & Stefan Groot, 2013. "The impact of trade, offshoring and multinationals on job loss and job finding," CPB Discussion Paper 252, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    5. Bruno Funchal & Jandir Soares Junior, 2013. "Understanding demand for skylls after technological trade liberalization," Fucape Working Papers 40, Fucape Business School.
    6. Semih Akcomak & H. Burcu Gurcihan, 2013. "Turkiye Isgucu Piyasasinda Mesleklerin Onemi : Hizmetler Sektoru Istihdami, Isgucu ve Ucret Kutuplasmasi," Working Papers 1321, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
    7. Hugo Rojas-Romagosa, 2011. "Wage inequality in trade-in-tasks models," CPB Discussion Paper 196, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    8. Tobias Brändle & Andreas Koch, 2014. "Offshoring and Outsourcing Potentials - Evidence from German Micro-Level Data," IAW Discussion Papers 110, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    technological change; tasks; division of labour; the Netherlands;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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