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Stephan Kampelmann and Francois Rycx

Brussels Economic Review, 2013, vol. 56, issue 2, 113-142

Abstract: This article uses detailed German household panel data to address important unresolved issuesrelated to task-biased technological change. Implementing a task-based model of occupationalemployment and earnings, results show that the task composition of occupations in 1985 issignificantly associated with relative employment changes and accounts at least partially for thejob polarisation that occurred during the period 1985-2008. By contrast, initial task content isnot related to observed trends in remuneration. We also contribute to a central, but so far underresearchedaspect of task-biased employment changes, namely their dynamics over time. Weshow that task-biased employment effects can take more than a decade to materialize, differacross task categories, and be preceded by movements in the opposite direction. These findingshave important ramifications for research in this field, for instance by underlining the necessityto work with sufficiently long observation periods and to pay closer attention to infra-periodevolutions.

Keywords: Polarisation; Technological change; Pay rules; Occupations; Inequality; Tasks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J21 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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