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Job polarization in Britain from a task-based perspective.Evidence from the UK Skills Surveys

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  • Martina Bisello

Abstract

This paper analyses occupational changes in Britain between 1997 and 2006 from a task-based perspective using data from the UK Skills Surveys. In line with the existing literature, we show that employment has been polarizing. We analyse in detail the task content of the occupations which display the most significant employment changes during the period under consideration in light of ALM (2003) “ routinization hypothesis†. We show that changes in employment shares are negatively related to the initial level of routine intensity. Unlike previous studies using the same data, we explore the impact of computerization on routine task inputs excluding low-paying occupations that are not supposed to be directly affected.We show that our routine measure, which is negatively related to computerization, is likely to capture both the manual and the cognitive routine dimension. Finally, by using retrospective questions on past jobs, we provide evidence that middle-paid workers did not predominantly reallocate their labour supply to low-paying occupations.

Suggested Citation

  • Martina Bisello, 2013. "Job polarization in Britain from a task-based perspective.Evidence from the UK Skills Surveys," Discussion Papers 2013/160, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:pie:dsedps:2013/160
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    File URL: http://www.ec.unipi.it/documents/Ricerca/papers/2013-160.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Machin, Stephen, 1996. "Wage Inequality in the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 47-64, Spring.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why is the middle squeezed?
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-03-27 19:18:02
    2. Miliband's managerialism
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-06-19 18:10:37
    3. Job polarization
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-10-14 21:41:38
    4. Immigration & capitalism
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-10-23 18:31:10
    5. Immigration & capitalism
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-10-23 18:24:25
    6. Beyond New Labour
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-11-13 19:23:44
    7. For worker control
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-12-10 19:57:55
    8. Worker flows, & occupations
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2015-02-18 19:29:19
    9. Impossible choices, & markets
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2015-03-03 20:52:57
    10. Wanted: a new Blair
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2015-05-12 18:12:41
    11. The problem of greater equality
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2015-06-04 18:44:15
    12. Welfare state trade-offs
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2015-07-07 17:58:06
    13. Labour's economic narrative
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2015-07-19 16:31:59
    14. Thoughts on the human cloud
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2015-10-11 16:37:38
    15. Blairism vs the left
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2015-11-07 20:02:00
    16. Lies we've told our children
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2015-11-09 19:58:30
    17. Beyond social mobility
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2015-12-18 19:47:40
    18. Responding to Mayism
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2016-07-14 17:31:52
    19. On job polarization
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2016-08-18 17:29:29

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    Cited by:

    1. Salvatori, Andrea, 2015. "The Anatomy of Job Polarisation in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 9193, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job polarization; technological change; occupations; tasks.;

    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
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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