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When Does it Pay Off to Learn a New Skill? Revealing the Complementary Benefit of Cross-Skilling

Fabian Stephany

Papers from arXiv.org

Abstract: This work examines the economic benefits of learning a new skill from a different domain: cross-skilling. To assess this, a network of skills from the job profiles of 14,790 online freelancers is constructed. Based on this skill network, relationships between 3,480 different skills are revealed and marginal effects of learning a new skill can be calculated via workers' wages. The results indicate that learning in-demand skills, such as popular programming languages, is beneficial in general, and that diverse skill sets tend to be profitable, too. However, the economic benefit of a new skill is individual, as it complements the existing skill bundle of each worker. As technological and social transformation is reshuffling jobs' task profiles at a fast pace, the findings of this study help to clarify skill sets required for designing individual re-skilling pathways. This can help to increase employability and reduce labour market shortages.

Date: 2020-10, Revised 2021-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-net and nep-tid
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