The Changing Demand for Skills Evidence from the Transition

23 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2008

See all articles by Simon John Commander

Simon John Commander

London Business School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Janos Kollo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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Abstract

Transition has involved major job destruction and creation. This paper examines the skill content of these changes using a detailed three country firm survey. It shows that transition has exerted a strong bias against unskilled labor that has lost employment disproportionately. The skill content of blue collar work has shifted upwards. Shifts away from low-skilled labor were accelerated by technological change. By 2000, the actual and desired levels of employment were close to each other but we find some evidence that technological changes had given rise to shortages of skilled blue collar workers. Although there is variation across the sampled countries, this appears to be explained by differences in the timing of reforms. The observed changes will have major longer run implications for the level and structure of employment and for inequality through the distribution of earnings.

Suggested Citation

Commander, Simon John and Kollo, Janos, The Changing Demand for Skills Evidence from the Transition. Economics of Transition, Vol. 16, Issue 2, pp. 199-221, April 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1105988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0351.2008.00303.x

Simon John Commander

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Janos Kollo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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