De-routinization of jobs and the distribution of earnings: A cross-country comparison

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics

Event details

ACDE Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 30 July 2024


Acton Theatre JG Crawford Building and Online Zoom


Max Longmuir, Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality, The Graduate Centre, City University of New York

The Routine-Biased Technological Change hypothesis (RBTC) by Autor et al. (2003) suggests that automation processes have substituted workers operating middle-skilled routine tasks. As a result, the relative demand for complementary workers operating non-routine tasks has increased. These changes in the labor force composition imply job polarization, characterized by a growing proportion of both high- and low-skilled at the expense of middle-skilled jobs. An aspect of high socio-economic and political relevance is the distributional implications of job polarization. In this study, we use a novel dataset covering 35 countries to investigate the phenomenon of job de-routinization, job polarization, and their potential ramifications on earnings distributions. We find strong empirical evidence of job polarization in most countries, but no systematic link between job polarization and the distribution of earnings. We show that this missing link stems from the fact that occupational classes are not very strongly stratified along the earning distribution.

Join this seminar in-person: Acton Theatre, JG Crawford Building 132, Crawford School of Public Policy

Join this seminar online via Zoom:

Updated:  18 July 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team