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Is Job Polarization a Recent Phenomenon?Evidence from Sweden, 1950–2013, and a Comparison to the United States
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2017 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, I first show that Swedish job polarization is––contrary to common belief––a long-run phenomenon: the share of middle-wage jobs has declined relative to the highest- and lowest-paid jobs since at least the 1950s. Based on previous results for the US, I then demonstrate that the same major employment shifts across routine and nonroutine jobs drive long-run job polarization in both Sweden and the US. In particular, the shrinking manufacturing sector, with the subsequent decline of routine manual (blue-collar) jobs, stands out as the main explanation for why job polarization is a long-run phenomenon. However, consistent with the hypothesis of routine-biased technological change, both countries display across-the-board declines of routine jobs from around the 1980s, as well as polarizing employment patterns not only between but also within industries. But despite these trend breaks, Sweden actually experienced a stronger job-polarization process—a more pronounced hollowing out of the job-wage distribution—in the pre- than in the post 1980-era.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala, 2017. , p. 50
Series
Working paper / Department of Economics, Uppsala University (Online), ISSN 1653-6975 ; 2017:14
Keyword [en]
Automation; Industrial Composition; Routine-Biased Technological Change; Routinization; Structural Change
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-334548OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-334548DiVA, id: diva2:1159850
Available from: 2017-11-23 Created: 2017-11-23 Last updated: 2017-11-23

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf