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Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

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The Demand for Skills 1995-2008

A Global Supply Chain Perspective You or your institution have access to this content

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Bart Los1, Marcel P. Timmer1, Gaaitzen J. De Vries1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: University of Groningen, Netherlands

15 July 2014
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We propose a new method to analyse the changing skills structure of employment in countries based on the input-output structure of the world economy. Demand for jobs, characterized by skill type and industry of employment, is driven by changes in technology, trade and consumption. Using structural decomposition analysis, we study the relative importance of these drivers for the period 1995-2008. In doing so, we derive a new measure of technological change in vertically integrated production chains and show that it has been skill-biased. We find that skill-biased technological change has played the most important role in the different employment growth rates of high-skilled, medium-skilled and low-skilled labour in advanced countries. For emerging countries, the patterns of employment growth are very heterogeneous.
technological change, demand for skills, trade, global supply chains, world input–output tables
JEL Classification:
  • D57: Microeconomics / General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium / Input–Output Tables and Analysis
  • F16: International Economics / Trade / Trade and Labor Market Interactions
  • F66: International Economics / Economic Impacts of Globalization / Labor
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