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Are Skill Requirements in the Workplace Rising? Stylized Facts and Evidence on Skill-Biased Technological Change

51 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2004 Last revised: 15 Feb 2015

Alexandra Spitz

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

The present analysis investigates skill requirements in the workplace, measured directly by the task-composition of occupations. It shows that the task composition of occupations has shifted toward analytical and interactive activities and away from manual and cognitive routine activities in West Germany between 1979 and 1999. These within occupational task changes account for around 50 percent of the educational upgrading in recent decades. The analysis shows additionally that computer technology is complementary to workers in executing analytical and interactive activities, whereas it substitutes for workers in performing manual and cognitive routine tasks. This relationship exists within occupations, within occupation-education groups and within occupation-age groups.

Keywords: occupational skill requirements, skill-biased technological change

JEL Classification: O30, J23

Suggested Citation

Spitz, Alexandra, Are Skill Requirements in the Workplace Rising? Stylized Facts and Evidence on Skill-Biased Technological Change (2004). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 04-033. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=553883 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.553883

Alexandra Spitz (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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