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Occupational Inequality in Wage Returns to Employer Demand for Types of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Skills: 1991-2017


Buchmann, Marlis; Buchs, Helen; Gnehm, Ann-Sophie (2020). Occupational Inequality in Wage Returns to Employer Demand for Types of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Skills: 1991-2017. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 72(1):455-482.

Abstract

Is employer demand for particular types of ICT skills needed for job performance associated with a wage premium? The claim is that a wage premium is contingent upon whether an ICT skill is a core component of the occupational skill set or a newly introduced (i.e., novel) skill element, thus engendering occupational inequality in wage returns. The study proposes a sophisticated conceptualization and extraction of types of ICT skills. It is the first one to measure employer demand for these skills directly, repeatedly (i.e., annually) and from a long-term perspective. Analyses are based on data from job advertisements taken from the Swiss Job Market Monitor (SJMM), a longitudinal dataset from 1950 onwards of annual representative samples of job vacancies advertised in the press and online that are matched to wage data taken from the Swiss Labor Force Survey (SLFS). Results show that novel ICT skills in occupations do reap a wage return, whereas core ICT skills in occupations do not. This corroborates the assumption that the unequal exposure of occupations to the digital transformation introduces a new dimension of occupational inequality in wage returns that is related to ICT skills.

Abstract

Is employer demand for particular types of ICT skills needed for job performance associated with a wage premium? The claim is that a wage premium is contingent upon whether an ICT skill is a core component of the occupational skill set or a newly introduced (i.e., novel) skill element, thus engendering occupational inequality in wage returns. The study proposes a sophisticated conceptualization and extraction of types of ICT skills. It is the first one to measure employer demand for these skills directly, repeatedly (i.e., annually) and from a long-term perspective. Analyses are based on data from job advertisements taken from the Swiss Job Market Monitor (SJMM), a longitudinal dataset from 1950 onwards of annual representative samples of job vacancies advertised in the press and online that are matched to wage data taken from the Swiss Labor Force Survey (SLFS). Results show that novel ICT skills in occupations do reap a wage return, whereas core ICT skills in occupations do not. This corroborates the assumption that the unequal exposure of occupations to the digital transformation introduces a new dimension of occupational inequality in wage returns that is related to ICT skills.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Skill demand, Wage premium, Non-ICT occupations, Job advertisement, Switzerland
Language:English
Date:9 June 2020
Deposited On:15 Feb 2021 09:43
Last Modified:16 Feb 2021 21:01
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0023-2653
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11577-020-00672-5

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