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Journal article

Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarization of work in Britain

This paper shows that the United Kingdom since 1975 has exhibited a pattern of job polarization with rises in employment shares in the highest- and lowest-wage occupations. This is not entirely consistent with the idea of skill-biased technical change as a hypothesis about the impact of technology on the labor market. We argue that the "routinization" hypothesis recently proposed by Autor, Levy, and Murnane (2003) is a better explanation of job polarization, though other factors may also be important. We show that job polarization can explain one-third of the rise in the log(50/10) wage differential and one-half of the rise in the log(90/50).

Maarten Goos and Alan Manning

1 February 2007

Review of Economics and Statistics 89(1) , pp.118-133, 2007

DOI: 10.1162/rest.89.1.118

This Journal article is published under the centre's Labour markets programme.

This publication comes under the following theme: Labour market inequality