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Job polarization and structural change

Listed author(s):
  • Christian Siegel

    (University of Exeter)

  • Zsofia Barany

    (Sciences Po)

We document that job polarization – contrary to the consensus – has started as early as the 1950s in the US: middle-wage workers have been losing both in terms of employment and average wage growth compared to low- and high-wage workers. Given that polarization is a long-run phenomenon and closely linked to the shift from manufacturing to services, we propose a structural change driven explanation, where we explicitly model the sectoral choice of workers. Our simple model does remarkably well not only in matching the evolution of sectoral employment, but also of relative wages over the past fifty years.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2016 Meeting Papers with number 1087.

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Date of creation: 2016
Handle: RePEc:red:sed016:1087
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  1. Graetz, Georg & Feng, Andy, 2014. "Rise of the Machines: The Effects of Labor-Saving Innovations on Jobs and Wages," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100401, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. Guy Michaels & Ashwini Natraj & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over 25 years," NBER Working Papers 16138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning & Anna Salomons, 2014. "Explaining Job Polarization: Routine-Biased Technological Change and Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2509-2526, August.
  12. Berthold Herrendorf & Richard Rogerson & ?kos Valentinyi, 2013. "Two Perspectives on Preferences and Structural Transformation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2752-2789, December.
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  17. Goos, Maarten & Manning, Alan & Salomons, Anna, 2014. "Explaining job polarization: routine-biased technological change and offshoring," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59698, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  18. Alan Manning, 2004. "We Can Work It Out: the Impact of Technological Change on the Demand for Low Skill Workers," CEP Discussion Papers dp0640, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  19. Guy Michaels & Ashwini Natraj & John Van Reenen, 2014. "Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over Twenty-Five Years," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 60-77, March.
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