Routinization, within-occupation task changes and long-run employment dynamics
Davide Consoli (INGENIO – CSIC Universitat Politecnica de Valencia); Giovanni Marin (Department of Economics, Society, Politics, University of Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’, SEEDS and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Francesco Rentocchini (European Commission, Joint Research Centre – JRC and Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods – DEMM, University of Milan); Francesco Vona (University of Milan, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and OFCE, Sciences Po)
Tasks, Routinization, Technological change, Employment dynamics, Race between technology and education
Research Policy, Volume 52, Issue 1, January 2023, 104658
The present study adds to the literature on routinization and employment by capturing within-occupation task changes over the period 1980–2010. The main contributions are the measurement of such changes and the combination of two data sources on occupational task content for the United States: the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). We show that within-occupation reorientation away from routine tasks: i) accounts for 1/3 of the decline in routine-task use; ii) accelerated in the 1990s, decelerated in the 2000s but with significant convergence across occupations; and iii) allowed workers to escape the employment and wage decline, conditional on the initial level of routine-task intensity. The latter finding suggests that task reorientation is a key channel through which labour markets adapt to various forms of labour-saving technological change.