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Job polarization and the declining quality of knowledge workers: evidence from the UK and Germany

Cavaglia, Chiara and Etheridge, Ben (2020) Job polarization and the declining quality of knowledge workers: evidence from the UK and Germany. Labour Economics, 66. ISSN 0927-5371

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.labeco.2020.101884

Abstract

Across the developed world, employment has polarized clearly by occupation, but changes to the wage structure have been harder to interpret. We examine changes to the wage structure in the UK and Germany, two countries with apparently very different trends. Using panel data, we argue that changes to quality-adjusted prices for occupations grouped by predominant tasks correlate strongly with employment growth in both countries, consistently with task-based changes to labour demand. The gap between price and average wage changes is strongest in top (knowledge) jobs, implying that the average quality of these workers has declined over time. We obtain further direct evidence on changes to worker quality using rich data on individual characteristics.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/labour-econo...
Additional Information: © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
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Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J20 - General
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs > J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials by Skill, Training, Occupation, etc.
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2020 12:36
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:31
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/105819

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