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IT Skills, Occupation Specificity and Job Separations

Christian Eggenberger and Uschi Backes-Gellner

No 172, Economics of Education Working Paper Series from University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Abstract: This paper examines how workers' earnings change after involuntary job separations depending on the workers' acquired IT skills and the specificity of their occupational training. We categorize workers' occupational skill bundles along two independent dimensions. First, we distinguish between skill bundles that are more specific or less specific compared to the skill bundles needed in the overall labor market. Second, as digitalization becomes ever more important, we distinguish between skill bundles that contain two different types of IT skills, generic- or expert ones. We expect that after involuntary separations, these IT skills can have opposing effects, either reducing or amplifying earnings losses of workers with specific skill bundles. We find clearly opposing results for these two types of IT skills for workers in specific - but not in general - occupations: Having more generic IT skills is positively correlated with earnings after involuntary separations, whereas more expert IT skills are negatively correlated.

Keywords: IT Skills; human capital specificity; vocational education and training (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 J63 M53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 56 pages
Date: 2020-06, Revised 2021-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lma
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