The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks | E-Axes
 

Search
Login
Username:
Password:
Not a member yet? Click here.
Forgot your Password?
Archives - Categories
Home
On Inequality
On the Eurozone Debt Crisis
On Monetary Policy and Central Banking
On Global Economic Growth
On the Greek Debt Crisis
On the Banking and Financial Sectors
On Brexit
On China
On India
On Global Inflation
On Currencies
On the US Debt
On the "Economics" of the Arab Spring
Blogs
Working Papers
Books
Books suggested by members



The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks

Abstract

What explains the current low rate of employment in the US? While there has been substantial debate over this question in recent years, we believe that considerable added insight can be derived by focusing on changes in the labor market at the turn of the century. In particular, we argue that in about the year 2000, the demand for skill (or, more specifically, for cognitive tasks often associated with high educational skill) underwent a reversal. Many researchers have documented a strong, ongoing increase in the demand for skills in the decades leading up to 2000. In this paper, we document a decline in that demand in the years since 2000, even as the supply of high education workers continues to grow. We go on to show that, in response to this demand reversal, high-skilled workers have moved down the occupational ladder and have begun to perform jobs traditionally performed by lower-skilled workers. This de-skilling process, in turn, results in high-skilled workers pushing low-skilled workers even further down the occupational ladder and, to some degree, out of the labor force all together. In order to understand these patterns, we offer a simple extension to the standard skill biased technical change model that views cognitive tasks as a stock rather than a flow. We show how such a model can explain the trends in the data that we present, and offers a novel interpretation of the current employment situation in the US.

To download the PDF version of the working paper click here.


© 2011–2017 e-axes. All rights reserved. | Credits | Contact Us | Privacy Statement | Mon 22 Jan, 2018 17:55:33 PM
e-axes is proudly powered by Norder - Creative Solutions