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Influence of Digitalization on the Tasks of Employees with Disabilities in Germany (1979–2006)

Sabrina Inez Weller ()
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Sabrina Inez Weller: Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Section 1 BIBB-Establishment Panel on Qualification and Competence Development, Robert-Schuman-Platz 3, D-53175 Bonn, Germany

Societies, 2019, vol. 9, issue 1, 1-16

Abstract: The deployment of technology in the workplace is increasingly replacing routine tasks and creating more non-routine tasks. In this article, we investigate the influence of computer technology on tasks carried out by employees with disabilities compared to employees without disabilities. We assume significant differences between both groups and stronger substitutive and complementary effects of computer technology in the case of a higher degree of disability. We use four waves of the German BIBB-IAB (BIBB: Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training- IAB: Institute of Employment Research) and BIBB-BauA (BIBB: Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training- BauA: German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Employment surveys (1976–2006) to investigate the development of tasks and the influence of computer technology carried out by employees with disabilities compared to employees without disabilities. The results show a development of tasks carried out by employees with disabilities that is very similar to that of employees without disabilities. In line with the assumptions of the task-based approach, we find that computer technology in the workplace has a complementary effect on routine tasks and a substitutive effect on non-routine tasks carried out by employees with disabilities. Against our theoretical assumptions, we find no systematic differences in the effects of computer technology on the tasks of employees with and without a disability. Moreover, we do not find systematic differences with regard to the degree of disability.

Keywords: digitalization; disability; labor market inclusion; labor market participation; routinization; tasks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A13 A14 P P0 P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 Z1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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