Horizontal and Vertical Polarization: Task-Specific Technological Change in a Multi-Sector Economy
Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee and
No 12524, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers
We analyze the effect of technological change in a novel framework that integrates an economy's skill distribution with its occupational and industrial structure. Individuals become managers or workers based on their managerial vs. worker skills, and workers further sort into a continuum of tasks (occupations) ranked by skill content. Our theory dictates that faster technological progress for middle-skill tasks not only raises the employment shares and relative wages of lower- and higher-skill occupations among workers (horizontal polarization), but also raises those of managers over workers as a whole (vertical polarization). Both dimensions of polarization are faster within sectors that depend more on middle-skill tasks and less on managers. This endogenously leads to faster TFP growth of such sectors, whose employment and value-added shares shrink if sectoral goods are complementary (structural change). We present several novel facts that support our model, followed by a quantitative analysis showing that task-specific technological progress-which was fastest for occupations embodying routine-manual tasks but not interpersonal skills-is important for understanding changes in the sectoral, occupational, and organizational structure of the U.S. economy since 1980.
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-tid
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at email@example.com
Working Paper: Horizontal and Vertical Polarization: Task-Specific Technological Change in a Multi-Sector Economy (2017)
Working Paper: Horizonatal and Vertical Polarization: Task-Specific Technological Change in a Multi-Sector Economy (2017)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12524
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.cepr.org/ ... rs/dp.php?dpno=12524
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
Bibliographic data for series maintained by (). This e-mail address is bad, please contact .