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Disappearing routine jobs: Who, how, and why?


Cortes, Guido Matias; Jaimovich, Nir; Siu, Henry E (2017). Disappearing routine jobs: Who, how, and why? Journal of Monetary Economics, 91:69-87.

Abstract

We study the deterioration of employment in middle-wage, routine occupations in the United States in the last 35 years. The decline is primarily driven by changes in the propen- sity to work in routine jobs for individuals from a small set of demographic groups. These same groups account for a substantial fraction of both the increase in non-employment and employment in low-wage, non-routine manual occupations observed during the same period. We analyze a general neoclassical model of the labor market featuring endogenous participation and occupation choice. In response to an increase in automation technology, the framework embodies a tradeoffbetween reallocating employment across occupations and reallocation of workers towards non-employment. Quantitatively, we find that this standard model accounts for a relatively small portion of the joint decline in routine em- ployment and associated rise in non-routine manual employment and non-employment.

Abstract

We study the deterioration of employment in middle-wage, routine occupations in the United States in the last 35 years. The decline is primarily driven by changes in the propen- sity to work in routine jobs for individuals from a small set of demographic groups. These same groups account for a substantial fraction of both the increase in non-employment and employment in low-wage, non-routine manual occupations observed during the same period. We analyze a general neoclassical model of the labor market featuring endogenous participation and occupation choice. In response to an increase in automation technology, the framework embodies a tradeoffbetween reallocating employment across occupations and reallocation of workers towards non-employment. Quantitatively, we find that this standard model accounts for a relatively small portion of the joint decline in routine em- ployment and associated rise in non-routine manual employment and non-employment.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Economics and Econometrics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Finance
Uncontrolled Keywords:Routine occupations, job polarization, automation, labor force participation
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:18 Jan 2018 08:34
Last Modified:28 Jul 2020 12:49
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0304-3932
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmoneco.2017.09.006

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