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Complex-task Biased Technological Change and the Labor Market
Review of Economic Dynamics,
In this paper we study the relationship between task complexity and the occupational wage- and employment structure. Complex tasks are defined as those requiring higher-order skills, such as the ability to abstract, solve problems, make decisions, or communicate effectively. We measure the task complexity of an occupation by performing Principal Component Analysis on a broad set of occupational descriptors in the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) data. We establish four main empirical facts for the U.S. over the 1980–2005 time period that are robust to the inclusion of a detailed set of controls, subsamples, and levels of aggregation: (1) There is a positive relationship across occupations between task complexity and wages and wage growth; (2) Conditional on task complexity, routine-intensity of an occupation is not a significant predictor of wage growth and wage levels; (3) Labor has reallocated from less complex to more complex occupations over time; (4) Within groups of occupations with similar task complexity labor has reallocated to non-routine occupations over time. We then formulate a model of Complex-Task Biased Technological Change with heterogeneous skills and show analytically that it can rationalize these facts. We conclude that workers in non-routine occupations with low ability of solving complex tasks are not shielded from the labor market effects of automatization.
The Skills Balance in Germany’s Import Intensity of Exports: An Input-Output Analysis
In the decade prior to the economic and financial crisis, Germany’s net exports increased in absolute terms as well as relative to the growing level of import intensity of domestically produced export goods and services. This article analyses the direct and indirect employment effects induced both by exports as well as by of the import intensity of the production process of export goods and services on the skills used. It shows that Germany’s export surpluses led to positive net employment effects. Although the volume of imports of intermediate goods increased and was augmented by the rise in exports, it could not undermine the overall positive employment effect.
International Trade Patterns and Labour Markets – An Empirical Analysis for EU Member States
International Journal of Economics and Business Research,
During the last decades, international trade flows of the industrialized countries became more and more intra-industry. At the same time, employment perspectives particularly of the low-skilled by tendency deteriorated in these countries. This phenomenon is often traced back to the fact that intra-industry trade (IIT), which should theoretically involve low labour market adjustment, became increasingly vertical in nature. Against this background, the present paper investigates the relationship between international trade patterns and selected labour market indicators in European countries. As the results show, neither inter- nor vertical intra-industry trade (VIIT) do have a verifiable effect on wage spread in EU member states. As far as structural unemployment is concerned, the latter increases only with the degree of countries’ specialization on capital intensively manufactured products in inter-industry trade relations. Only for unemployment of the less-skilled, a slightly significant impact of superior VIIT seems to exist.