The effects of technology and offshoring on changes in employment and the task-content of occupations

18  October 2012    4:00 pm

Hugo Rojas-Romagosa (with Semih Akcomak and Suzanne Kok), CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis


wiiw, Rahlgasse 3, 1060 Vienna, lecture hall (entrance from the ground floor)


Combining employment data with the British Skill Survey (BSS) –which has comparable within-occupation task data for three waves: 1997, 2001 and 2006– we analyse employment changes between occupations (extensive margin) and within occupations (intensive margin). First, we find that the task-content of occupations (i.e. the intensive margin) has experienced significant changes in the United Kingdom between 1997 and 2006. Second, our econometric results suggest that these intensive margin changes can be explained by technological improvements (SBTC) and unionisation levels, while offshoring has not been a factor explaining how tasks are organized within occupations. Analysing changes at the extensive margin we confirm previously finding in the literature: there has been job polarization for both the UK and the Netherlands, and this job polarization can be explained by both SBTC and offshoring, though SBTC seems to be a more influential factor.