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Routinization-Biased Technical Change, Globalization and Labor Market Polarization: Does Theory Fit the Facts?

  • Jaewon Jung

    ()

    (RWTH Aachen University and THEMA, U. de Cergy-Pontoise)

  • Jean Mercenier

    ()

    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

There is now ample evidence that jobs and wages have been polarizing at the extremes of the skill distribution since the early 90s. Autor, Levy and Murnane (2003) have suggested that this might be due to technology substituting more easily for labor in performing routine rather than non-routine tasks. Other potential explanations include globalization. Active empirical research has now identified important stylized facts. The aim of this paper is to provide a theoretical exploration of alternative potential causes to this labor market polarization, and to identify which, if any, are consistent with the stylized facts.

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Paper provided by University of Verona, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 13/2010.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:13/2010
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  1. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
  2. Weiss, Matthias, 2008. "Skill-biased technological change: Is there hope for the unskilled?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 439-441, September.
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