Multi-Task Learning and the Reorganization of Work

Posted: 20 Sep 1999

See all articles by Dennis J. Snower

Dennis J. Snower

University of Kiel - Institute for World Economics (IfW); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Assar Lindbeck

; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Date Written: April 1999

Abstract

The paper analyzes the contemporary organizational restructuring of production and work within firms. We emphasize the shift from a "Tayloristic" organization of work (characterized by significant specialization by tasks) to a "holistic" organization (featuring job rotation, integration of tasks and learning across tasks). We examine four driving forces behind this restructuring process: advances in production technologies promoting technological task complementarities, advances in information technologies promoting informational task complementarities, changes in worker preferences in favor of versatile work, and advances in human capital that make workers more versatile. Our analysis can also help explain the recent widening of wage differentials and disparities in job opportunities, not only between groups with similar characteristics, but also within these groups.

JEL Classification: J23, J24, L23, M12, O33

Suggested Citation

Snower, Dennis J. and Lindbeck, Assar, Multi-Task Learning and the Reorganization of Work (April 1999). IZA Discussion Paper No. 39. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=166563

Dennis J. Snower (Contact Author)

University of Kiel - Institute for World Economics (IfW) ( email )

Duesternbrooker Weg 120
D-24118 Kiel
Germany
+49+431-8814-235 (Phone)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Assar Lindbeck

( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden
+46 8 163 078 (Phone)
+46 8 162 946 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifn.se/assarl

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