Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2016: Demographischer Wandel - Session: Technological Change, Versatility, and Macro-Labor Models B18-V2
A fast-growing literature shows that technological change is biased towards routine tasks, changing the structures of employment and wages in developed economies. This paper is the first to estimate the absolute rather than relative employment effects of routine-biased technological change (RBTC) for Europe as a whole and at the level of 238 European regions. We develop and estimate a task model of regional labor demand in tradable and non-tradable industries, building on Goos et al. (2014), and distinguish the main channels through which technological change affects labor demand. These channels include the direct substitution of capital for labor in task production, but also the compensating effects operating through product demand and local demand spillovers. We empirically estimate the contributions of the channels in our model to analyze how RBTC affects both aggregate and regional employment. Our results indicate that RBTC has on net created more than 11 million jobs across 27 European countries over 1999-2010, comprising half of total employment growth, and can account for some 40 percent of the observed European regional variation in employment growth over this period.