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Worker personality: Another skill bias beyond education in the digital age

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  • Bode, Eckhardt
  • Brunow, Stephan
  • Ott, Ingrid
  • Sorgner, Alina

Abstract

We present empirical evidence suggesting that technological progress in the digital age will be biased not only with respect to skills acquired through education but also with respect to noncognitive skills (personality). We measure the direction of technological change by estimated future digitalization probabilities of occupations, and noncognitive skills by the Big Five personality traits from several German worker surveys. Even though we control extensively for education and experience, we find that workers characterized by strong openness and emotional stability tend to be less susceptible to digitalization. Traditional indicators of human capital thus measure workers' skill endowments only imperfectly.

Suggested Citation

  • Bode, Eckhardt & Brunow, Stephan & Ott, Ingrid & Sorgner, Alina, 2016. "Worker personality: Another skill bias beyond education in the digital age," Kiel Working Papers 2057, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:2057
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    Cited by:

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    2. Sorgner, Alina & Bode, Eckhardt & Krieger-Boden, Christiane & Aneja, Urvashi & Coleman, Susan & Mishra, Vidisha & Robb, Alicia M., 2017. "The effects of digitalization on gender equaliy in the G20 economies: Women20 study," Kiel E-Books, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), number 170571.
    3. Tatiana V. Volchenko & Lyudmila S. Ruzhanskaya & Maxim A. Fokeev, 2021. "Non-cognitive skills of employees and their influence on voluntary turnover," Upravlenets, Ural State University of Economics, vol. 12(2), pages 87-101, April.
    4. Fossen, Frank M. & Sorgner, Alina, 2021. "Digitalization of work and entry into entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 548-563.
    5. Hübler, Olaf, 2017. "Health and weight – gender-specific linkages under heterogeneity, interdependence and resilience factors," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 96-111.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Worker personality; Noncognitive skills; Digital transformation; Direction of technical change; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques

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