OECD Trade Policy Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected trade policy studies prepared for use within the OECD.

NB. No. 1 to No. 139 were released under the previous series title OECD Trade Policy Working Papers.


The Routine Content Of Occupations

New Cross-Country Measures Based On PIAAC

This work proposes a novel measure of the routine content of occupations, called the Routine Intensity Indicator (RII), built on data from the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey. The RII uses information about the extent to which workers can modify the sequence of their tasks and decide the type of tasks to be performed on the job. Based on median RII values of individuals in 3-digit occupations across 20 OECD countries, jobs are grouped into quartiles of routine-intensity. On average, in 2012, 46% of employed persons worked in non-routine (18%) or low (28%) routine intensive occupations, with the distribution differing significantly across countries. The relationship between the routine content of occupations and the skills of the workforce is also investigated. While a negative correlation does emerge between skill content and routine intensity – i.e. more routine-intensive occupations tend to be associated with lower skills – this relationship is not necessarily very strong.


Keywords: routine task, Skill, occupations
JEL: J24: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error