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The Evolution of Skills in OECD Countries and the Role of Technology

  • Alessandra Colecchia
  • George Papaconstantinou
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    The aim of this paper is two-fold: to highlight stylised facts about recent trends in the skill distribution of employment and to analyse the role that technological change might have in explaining these dynamics. Data on industrial employment broken down by occupation recently assembled by the OECD Secretariat are used to examine the changing skill composition of OECD economies, the occupational structure of industry and services, and the dynamics of upskilling. They show that in most OECD countries during the 1980s, employment grew fastest in high-skilled jobs and slowest – or declined – in low-skilled jobs. The upskilling trend is more apparent in manufacturing than in services, while overall the shift to higher skilled jobs has occurred primarily within industries, rather than between them. Econometric work that explores the role of technology in the changing skill mix in five of the G7 countries in the 1980s shows that upskilling has occurred faster in industries that have ... L’objectif de ce document est double : mettre en évidence les grandes lignes de l’évolution récente de la structure de l’emploi par niveau de qualification et analyser le rôle que peuvent y jouer les mutations technologiques. Les données sur l’emploi industriel ventilées par profession, récemment réunies par le Secrétariat de l’OCDE, permettent d’examiner l’évolution de la structure des économies de l’OCDE par niveau de qualification, la structure professionnelle des industries et des services et la dynamique du relèvement des qualifications. Ces données font apparaître que dans la plupart des pays de l’OCDE, au cours des années 80, l’emploi s’est accru plus rapidement dans les professions hautement qualifiées et plus lentement – dans les professions peu qualifiées – lorsqu’il n’a pas reculé. Le relèvement des qualifications est plus patent dans les industries manufacturières que dans les services, mais dans l’ensemble cette évolution au profit des emplois plus qualifiés est ...

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers with number 1996/8.

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    Date of creation: 1996
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:stiaaa:1996/8-en
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