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Worker Personality: Another Skill Bias beyond Education in the Digital Age

Author

Listed:
  • Eckhardt Bode

    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

  • Stephan Brunow

    (Institute for Employment Research, Nürnberg)

  • Ingrid Ott

    (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

  • Alina Sorgner

    (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

Abstract

We present empirical evidence suggesting that technological progress in the digital age will be biased not only with respect to skills acquired through education but also with respect to noncognitive skills (personality). We measure the direction of technological change by estimated future digitalization probabilities of occupations, and noncognitive skills by the Big Five personality traits from several German worker surveys. Even though we control extensively for education and experience, we find that workers characterized by strong openness and emotional stability tend to be less susceptible to digitalization. Traditional indicators of human capital thus measure workers' skill endowments only imperfectly.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckhardt Bode & Stephan Brunow & Ingrid Ott & Alina Sorgner, 2016. "Worker Personality: Another Skill Bias beyond Education in the Digital Age," Jena Economic Research Papers 2016-020, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2016-020
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    Cited by:

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    2. Fossen, Frank M. & Sorgner, Alina, 2021. "Digitalization of work and entry into entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 548-563.
    3. 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).
    4. Hübler, Olaf, 2017. "Health and weight – gender-specific linkages under heterogeneity, interdependence and resilience factors," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 96-111.
    5. Sorgner, Alina & Bode, Eckhardt & Krieger-Boden, Christiane & Aneja, Urvashi & Coleman, Susan & Mishra, Vidisha & Robb, Alicia M., 2017. "The effects of digitalization on gender equaliy in the G20 economies: Women20 study," Kiel E-Books, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), number 170571.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Worker personality; Noncognitive skills; Digital transformation; Direction of technical change; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • 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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