The Growing Importance of Algorithmic Literacy

47 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2021

See all articles by Prasanna Tambe

Prasanna Tambe

Wharton School, U. Pennsylvania

Date Written: November 1, 2018


Using data on employers’ job listings, this study demonstrates that employers are seeking algorithmic literacy from workers in a broad class of occupations. The empirical evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that there are significant productivity gains to having algorithmic literacy and occupation-specific human capital embodied in the same “generalist” jobs than divided across more specialized jobs. These results stand in contrast to data collection, storage, and management technologies, for which most of the relevant human capital is embodied in IT specialists. Implications for job design and workforce training are discussed.

Keywords: skills, algorithms, AI, jobs, occupations

JEL Classification: O32, O33

Suggested Citation

Tambe, Prasanna, The Growing Importance of Algorithmic Literacy (November 1, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Prasanna Tambe (Contact Author)

Wharton School, U. Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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