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CEP discussion paper
Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain
Maarten Goos and Alan Manning
December 2003
Paper No' CEPDP0604:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: J210

Tags: labor demand and technology; inequality

This paper argues that skill-biased technical change has some deficiencies as a hypothesis about the impact of technology on the labor market and that a more nuanced view recently proposed by Autor, Levy and Murnane (2003) is a more accurate description. The difference between the two hypotheses is in the prediction about what is happening to employment in low-wage jobs. This paper presents evidence that employment in the UK is polarizing into lovely and lousy jobs and that a plausible explanation for this is the Autor, Levy and Murnane hypothesis.