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Returns to Skills or Returns to Tasks? A Comment on Hanushek et al. (2015)

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  • Christl, Michael
  • Köppl-Turyna, Monika

Abstract

We comment on the work of Hanushek et al. (2015) and show that returns to skills are very heterogeneous and depend crucially on the tasks performed in the workplace, in line with the critique by Acemoglu and Autor (2011). Depending on the type of tasks performed at work, as well as on occupations, returns to cognitive skills can vary between null and numbers much higher than those reported by Hanushek et al. (2015). We show that tasks, as well as skills, are an important factor affecting returns on the labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Christl, Michael & Köppl-Turyna, Monika, 2017. "Returns to Skills or Returns to Tasks? A Comment on Hanushek et al. (2015)," Working Papers 08, Agenda Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:agawps:08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning & Anna Salomons, 2009. "Job Polarization in Europe," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 58-63, May.
    2. Allen, Jim & van der Velden, Rolf, 2001. "Educational Mismatches versus Skill Mismatches: Effects on Wages, Job Satisfaction, and On-the-Job Search," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 434-452, July.
    3. Hanushek, Eric A. & Schwerdt, Guido & Wiederhold, Simon & Woessmann, Ludger, 2015. "Returns to skills around the world: Evidence from PIAAC," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 103-130.
    4. David H. Autor & Michael J. Handel, 2013. "Putting Tasks to the Test: Human Capital, Job Tasks, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages 59-96.
    5. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-1149, September.
    6. Falck, Oliver & Heimisch-Roecker, Alexandra & Wiederhold, Simon, 2021. "Returns to ICT skills," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(7).
    7. Hanushek, Eric A. & Schwerdt, Guido & Wiederhold, Simon & Woessmann, Ludger, 2017. "Coping with change: International differences in the returns to skills," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 15-19.
    8. Catherine Béduwé & Jean-François Giret, 2011. "Mismatch of vocational graduates : what penalty on French labour market," Post-Print halshs-00738007, HAL.
    9. 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.
    10. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christl, Michael & Köppl-Turyna, Monika & Gnan, Phillipp, 2017. "Wage Differences Between Immigrants and Natives in Austria: The Role of Literacy Skills," GLO Discussion Paper Series 145, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cognitive skills; Education; Labor market; Earnings;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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