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Occupations at risk: The task content and job stability

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  • Ljubica Nedelkoska

    () (Research Training Group "Economics of Innovative Change" at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

Abstract

In the last few decades, Germany, similar to other developed countries, has been witnessing a sharp decline of the jobs that used to constitute the middle-class of the 1970s and the 1980s. This decline has been associated with the level to which jobs are codifiable. This is because, some argue, codifiable tasks are more prone to technological substitution and outsourcing than tacit tasks. This article empirically investigates two crucial aspects of the decline of codified jobs. First, it studies what happened to the workers in codified occupations in terms of unemployment, occupational change, and wages. Second, it revisits the hypothesis that code-based technologies are the major driver of this labour market shift. We find that job codification is associated with higher unemployment and higher occupational change. It is also associated with wage losses for the workers who left routinized jobs. We find however little evidence that code-based technologies were the driving factor behind these dynamics.

Suggested Citation

  • Ljubica Nedelkoska, 2010. "Occupations at risk: The task content and job stability," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-050, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-050
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning & Anna Salomons, 2009. "Job Polarization in Europe," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 58-63, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo & Reid, Robert J. K., 2008. "Evidence from the Patent Record on the Development of Cash Dispensing Technology," MPRA Paper 9461, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881.
    5. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
    6. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
    7. Cowan, Robin & Foray, Dominique, 1997. "The Economics of Codification and the Diffusion of Knowledge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 595-622, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    occupations; automation; job tasks; occupational change; unemployment; wages;

    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
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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