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Employment Polarization in Germany: Role of Technology, Trade and Human Capital

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  • Ipsita Roy

    (Graduate College "The Economics of Innovative Change", Friedrich Schiller University Jena, and Max Planck Institute of Economics.)

  • Davide Consoli

Abstract

Building on the canonical model of skill-biased technical change to incorporate differential effects of technology and international trade on the skill composition of occupations, the paper employs a task-based approach to analyze structural changes in regional employment within a rich vocational education setting in West Germany during 1979 and 2012. Results confirm theoretical predictions that regional employment districts with high initial share of routine occupations have experienced greater subsequent adoption of computer and information technology and larger decline in routine occupations. Exposure to global imports in goods and services have reduced overall employment in routine-intensive occupations; the magnitude being notably smaller as compared to technology. However, when looking at the direction of displacement of routine-workers, regions with greater share of routine jobs have experienced greater growth of high-skilled abstract jobs in the subsequent periods while the overlap between initial apprenticeship intensity and subsequent decline in regional routine employment is significantly strong. Taken together, findings show that unlike in the U.S. where employment growth in low-skilled service occupations has been the greatest, in Germany there is a greater trend towards occupational upgrading and larger growth in managerial and professional occupations due to the operationalization of its apprenticeship system.

Suggested Citation

  • Ipsita Roy & Davide Consoli, 2015. "Employment Polarization in Germany: Role of Technology, Trade and Human Capital," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-017, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2015-017
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    Cited by:

    1. Carbonero, Francesco & Offermanns, Christian J. & Weber, Enzo, 2017. "The fall of the labour income share: the role of technological change and imperfect labour markets," IAB-Discussion Paper 201728, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Francesco Carbonero & Christian Offermanns & Enzo Weber, 2017. "The Trend in Labour Income Share: the Role of Technological Change and Imperfect Labour Markets," Working Papers 173, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Skill-biased Technical Change; Task-based Approach; Skill Composition; Technology; International Trade; Apprenticeship; Regional Employment District;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • 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
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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