A Routine Transition? Technology, Upskilling, Structural Change and the Evolution of Task Content of Jobs in Central and Eastern Europe

Published on: 2016-11-18

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A Routine Transition? Technology, Upskilling, Structural Change and the Evolution of Task Content of Jobs in Central and Eastern Europe

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Abstract

Recent literature argues that in the US modern technologies replace jobs intensive in routine, codifiable tasks, and wipe out the middle-skilled employment. The evidence whether it is also the case in emerging economies is still scarce. In order to bridge this gap, I analyse the changes in the task content of jobs in 10 Central and Eastern European countries (CEE) between late 1990s and middle 2010s. I find that the CEE countries witnessed rising intensity of non-routine cognitive tasks, and a decreasing intensity of manual tasks. However, most of them experienced a rise in routine cognitive tasks, a trend absent in the most advanced economies. I assess the relative role played by education and technology in these developments. I also analyse the contribution of structural changes and occupational changes. I identify two groups of workers whose jobs depend most on performing routine cognitive tasks, who jointly represent 33% of workers in CEE, and are likely to be affected by future technical progress.

About the Speaker

piotr-lewandowski-cs Piotr Lewandowski is a labour economist, a President of the Board at Institute for Structural Research (IBS), Warsaw, Poland, and a Research Fellow at IZA, Bonn, Germany. In the past he collaborated with Warsaw School of Economics and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in Poland. His research interests include minimum wage, temporary contracts and labour market segmentation, influence of technology on jobs, pensions and social policy, transition economies, and labour market effects of climate and energy policies.

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