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Job polarization in Britain from a task-based perspective.Evidence from the UK Skills Surveys

Martina Bisello ()

Discussion Papers from Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Abstract: This paper analyses occupational changes in Britain between 1997 and 2006 from a task-based perspective using data from the UK Skills Surveys. In line with the existing literature, we show that employment has been polarizing. We analyse in detail the task content of the occupations which display the most significant employment changes during the period under consideration in light of ALM (2003) "routinization hypothesis". We show that changes in employment shares are negatively related to the initial level of routine intensity. Unlike previous studies using the same data, we explore the impact of computerization on routine task inputs excluding low-paying occupations that are not supposed to be directly affected.We show that our routine measure, which is negatively related to computerization, is likely to capture both the manual and the cognitive routine dimension. Finally, by using retrospective questions on past jobs, we provide evidence that middle-paid workers did not predominantly reallocate their labour supply to low-paying occupations.

Keywords: Job polarization; technological change; occupations; tasks. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J21 J23 J24 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-03-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab, nep-lma and nep-ltv
Note: ISSN 2039-1854
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Handle: RePEc:pie:dsedps:2013/160