The Polarization Myth: Occupational Upgrading in Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, 1992–2015

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Etat: Public
Version: Final published version
Licence: Non spécifiée
ID Serval
serval:BIB_8D746D65631C
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Collection
Publications
Titre
The Polarization Myth: Occupational Upgrading in Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, 1992–2015
Périodique
Work and Occupations
Auteur(s)
Oesch Daniel, Piccitto Giorgio
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
05/08/2019
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Pages
073088841986088
Langue
anglais
Résumé
The consensus view in economics is that labor markets are polarizing as job creation takes place in high-skilled and low-skilled occupations, while jobs shrink in midskilled ones. The authors argue that, in theoretical terms, polarization runs counter to all the trends that shaped the job structure over the past decades: skill-biased technological change, the international division of labor, and educational expansion. The authors then show that the polarization thesis does not hold empirically. They use the European Labor Force Survey to analyze occupational change for Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom from 1992 to 2015 and define good and bad occupations with four alternative indicators of job quality: earnings, education, prestige, and job satisfaction. Job growth was by far strongest in occupations with high job quality and weakest in occupations with low job quality, regardless of the indicator used. The authors find clear-cut occupational upgrading for Germany, Spain, and Sweden. In the United Kingdom, the data support the polarization thesis when job quality is measured with earnings. If job quality is defined with education, prestige, or job satisfaction, the results show occupational upgrading. In all four countries, production workers and office clerks lost ground, whereas employment strongly expanded in the salaried (upper) middle class among managers and professionals.
Mots-clé
occupations, polarization, upskilling, Europe, social class, job quality
Création de la notice
06/08/2019 15:57
Dernière modification de la notice
29/08/2019 15:41
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