Employment Polarisation in Spain Over the Course of the 1997-2012 Cycle

38 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2013

See all articles by Brindusa Anghel

Brindusa Anghel

Foundation for Applied Economic Research (FEDEA)

Sara de la Rica

Universidad del Pais Vasco; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Aitor Lacuesta

Banco de España

Date Written: December 20, 2013

Abstract

This article analyses changes in the occupational employment share in Spain for the period 1997-2012 and the way particular sociodemographics adapt to those changes. There seems to be clear evidence of employment polarisation between 1997 and 2012, which accelerates over the recession. Changes in the composition of the labour supply cannot explain the increase in the share of occupations at the low end of the wage distribution. Sector reallocation might have partially contributed to explaining the polarisation process in Spain during the years of expansion (1997-2007), but it is a minor factor during the recession. The polarisation of occupations within sectors observed especially during the recession appear to be related to a decline in routine tasks. This is compensated by an increase in occupations with non-routine service contents, which are found both at the low and high end of the wage distribution. Instead, abstract content-intensive jobs do not appear to increase their share in total employment during these 15 years. The paper finds that this process has affected males more than females because of the higher concentration of the former in more routine-intensive occupations. Among males, for workers under 30 years we fi nd a decrease in the share of occupations with more routine tasks, which turns into increases in others with more abstract content and particularly with more nonroutine service content. Instead, male workers over 30 years seem to remain in declining occupations to a greater extent. Females of different ages are not affected by the above mentioned changes.

Keywords: employment polarisation, job tasks, routinisation, business cycle

JEL Classification: E24, J24, J62, O33

Suggested Citation

Anghel, Brindusa and de la Rica, Sara and Lacuesta, Aitor, Employment Polarisation in Spain Over the Course of the 1997-2012 Cycle (December 20, 2013). Banco de Espana Working Paper No. 1321. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2370322 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2370322

Brindusa Anghel (Contact Author)

Foundation for Applied Economic Research (FEDEA) ( email )

Jorge Juan 46
Madrid, 28001
Spain

Sara De la Rica

Universidad del Pais Vasco ( email )

Barrio Sarriena s/n
Leioa, Bizkaia 48940
Spain

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Aitor Lacuesta

Banco de España ( email )

Madrid 28014
Spain

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