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Title: Three essays on the impact of economic change on the labour market
Author: Leidecker, Timo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 9215
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis consists of three chapters addressing three different yet related issues on the impact of economic change on labour markets. In chapter 2, I assess the impact of United Kingdom (UK) job polarization at the worker-level by examining changes in the underlying labour reallocation. I use an annual random sample of UK employees from 1975 to 2015, based on NESPD and ASHE, following workers employed in a PAYE-registered job. To abstract from compositional changes, I conduct the analysis at the group level, distinguishing three age and gender groups. First, I identify distributional changes accounting for aggregate job polarization by decomposing employment share changes for low, medium, and high skilled employment into distributional and compositional changes. Second, I conduct a counterfactual exercise for changes in transition rates to compute their contribution to job polarization at the group and aggregate level. I find job polarization to be associated with a negative impact on young workers, who become more likely to start their career in low skilled jobs, and male workers, who experience longer non-employment periods. These changes combined can account for at least two thirds of the decline in the aggregate medium skilled employment share. Reallocation between job types appears unimportant. In chapter 3, I examine changes in the distribution of non-employment spell durations associated with job polarization. I estimate the duration distribution in terms of survival functions, considering all exits to employment. I suggest a competing risks model allowing to decompose changes in survival functions into changes in hazard rates to low, medium, and high skilled jobs. Based on findings from chapter 2, I argue that changes in the hazard rate to medium skilled jobs are associated with job polarization. Survival functions are estimated non-parametrically for flow samples, based on NESPD and ASHE, of UK workers of six demographic groups entering non-employment in successive expansionary periods from 1975 to 2015. To organize the discussion, I distinguish short-term, longer temporary and permanent spells, finding that job polarization is associated with a general shift towards longer temporary spells, suggestive of longer reallocation periods, and male workers also becoming more likely to be permanently jobless, suggestive of a failure to reallocate. Women experience no comparable distributional changes, suggesting results are driven by aggregate and group-specific factors. In chapter 4, I test whether skill-biased technological change (SBTC) differs across OECD countries. SBTC is often held to be an exogenous shock common to developed countries. I argue that seminal contributions establishing SBTC do not assess comparative aspects. Extending the approach by Katz and Murphy [1992] to a cross-country context, I test for SBTC differences using annual country-level panel data for 14 OECD countries from 1986 to 2010. I find evidence for significant variation. I explore whether differences are systematically related to institutional measures, for which I find tentative evidence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HC Economic History and Conditions