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Digitalization at work, Job Tasks and Wages: Cross-Country evidence from PIAAC1

Author

Listed:
  • De La Rica, Sara
  • Gortazar, Lucas

Abstract

The aim of the paper is threefold. First, we compute differences on job tasks (Abstract, Routine and Manual) across a harmonized and hence comparable sample of Anglo-saxon, many European and even Asian advanced countries. We do so by using very precise information on job contents at the worker level, which allows for job task heterogeneity within occupations. Second we assess the extent to which computer adoption leads to the observed differences of job contents across countries. Third, we test the impact of tasks at work on average wages and wage inequality. Our results show remarkable differences in the degree of polarization of job contents across countries, being computer adoption at work a key significant driver of such differences. In particular, ICT use at work explains 10.0% (7.7%) of the cross-country conditional differences in Abstract (Routine) tasks at work. Finally, our results indicate that although differences in tasks explain an important and significant part of wage differentials (similar to what is found in Autor and Handel, 2013), we cannot find a clear pattern in the explanation of wage inequality gaps by looking at differences in task endowments and task returns.

Suggested Citation

  • De La Rica, Sara & Gortazar, Lucas, 2017. "Digitalization at work, Job Tasks and Wages: Cross-Country evidence from PIAAC1," GLO Discussion Paper Series 22, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:22
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/155358/1/GLO_DP_0022.pdf
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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. Daron Acemoglu, 1999. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1259-1278, December.
    3. David H. Autor & David Dorn, 2013. "The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the US Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1553-1597, August.
    4. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    5. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
    6. 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.
    7. Cabrales, Antonio & Dolado, Juan J. & Mora, Ricardo, 2014. "Dual Labour Markets and (Lack of) On-the-Job Training: PIAAC Evidence from Spain and Other EU Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8649, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Wiederhold, Simon & Falck, Oliver & Heimisch, Alexandra, 2015. "Returns to ICT Skills," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112803, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 189-194, May.
    10. Firpo, Sergio & Fortin, Nicole M. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2011. "Occupational Tasks and Changes in the Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 5542, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    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. Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881.
    13. 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.
    14. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Akgündüz, Yusuf Emre & Torun, Huzeyfe, 2018. "Two and a half million Syrian refugees, skill mix and capital intensity," GLO Discussion Paper Series 186, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Digitalization; Job Tasks; RIF-Regressions; Wage Decomposition; PIACC;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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