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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," Working Paper Series in Economics 98, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:kitwps:98
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    1. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:96-111 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Worker personality; Noncognitive skills; Digital transformation; Direction of technical change; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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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