Measuring and Interpreting Trends in the Division of Labour in the Netherlands
- 636 Downloads
This paper introduces indicators about the division of labour to measure and interpret recent trends in the structure of employment in the Netherlands. Changes in the division of labour occur at three different levels: the level of the individual worker, the level of the industry and the spatial level. At each level the organisation of work is determined by an equilibrium of forces that glue tasks together or unbundle them. Communication costs are the main force for clustering or gluing together tasks; comparative advantage stimulates unbundling and specialisation. The estimates suggest that on average the Netherlands has witnessed unbundling in the period 1996–2005, which implies that advantages of specialisation have increased. These developments explain to a considerable extent changes in the structure of employment. Especially at the spatial level it explains a substantial part of the increase in offshoring tasks abroad.
KeywordsTrade in tasks Division of labour Offshoring
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.
- Acemoglu, D., & Autor, D. H. (2011). Skills, tasks and technologies: Implications for employment and earnings. In: O. Ashenfelter, & D. Card (Eds.), Handbook of labor economics (Vol. 4b, pp. 1043–1171)Google Scholar
- Antràs P., Garicano L., Rossi-Hansberg E. (2006) Offshoring in a knowledge economy. Quarterly Journal of Economics 121(1): 31–77Google Scholar
- Baldwin, R. (2010). Integration of the North American economy and new-paradigm globalisation. CEPR Discussion Paper No.7523.Google Scholar
- Baldwin, R., & Robert-Nicoud, F. (2010). Trade in goods and trade in tasks: An integrating framework. NBER Working Paper No. 15882.Google Scholar
- Bloom, N., Garicano, L., Sadun, R., & Van Reenen, J. (2009). The distinct effects of information technology and communication technology on firm organization. NBER Working Paper No. 14975.Google Scholar
- Borghans, L., Weel, B., & Weinberg, B. A. (2006). People people: Social capital and the labor-market outcomes of underrepresented groups. NBER Working Paper No. 11985.Google Scholar
- Borghans L., Ter Weel B., Weinberg B. A. (2008) Interpersonal styles and labor market outcomes. Journal of Human Resources 43(4): 815–858Google Scholar
- Brakman S., Garretsen H., Ter Marrewijk C. (2009) The New Introduction to Geographical Economics. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Bresnahan, T. F., & Greenstein, S.(1996). Technical progress and co-invention in computing and in the uses of computers, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity: Microeconomics (pp. 1–77).Google Scholar
- CPB: (2008) Centraal Economisch Plan. Centraal Planbureau, The HagueGoogle Scholar
- Feenstra R. C., Hanson G. (1996) Globalization, outsourcing and wage inequality. American Economic Review 86(2): 240–245Google Scholar
- Firpo S., Fortin N., Lemieux T. (2009) Occupational tasks and changes in the wage structure. University of British Columbia, Working PaperGoogle Scholar
- Garicano L., Rossi-Hansberg E. (2006) Organization and inequality in a knowledge economy. Quarterly Journal of Economics 121(4): 1383–1435Google Scholar
- Gorter, J., Tang, P., & Toet, M. (2005). Verplaatsing vanuit Nederland, CPB Document No. 76.Google Scholar
- Green, F., Felstead, A., Gallie, D., & Zhou, Y. (2007). Skills at Work, 1986–2006, SKOPE, University of Oxford, http://www.skope.ox.ac.uk/publications/skills-work-1986-2006.
- Green, F. (2009). Employee involvement, technology and job tasks, University of Kent, Department of Economics, Discussion Papers in Economics No. 09/03.Google Scholar
- Jensen, B., & Kletzer, L. G. (2005). Tradable services: Understanding the scope and impact of services offshoring, Institute for International Economics Working Paper No. 05–9.Google Scholar
- Spieza, V.(2003). Geographic concentration and territorial disparity in OECD countries, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/43/1/15179757.doc accessed on 02/03/2010.
- Ter Weel B., van der Horst A., Gelauff G. (2010) The Netherlands of 2040. Centraal Planbureau, The HagueGoogle Scholar