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Technologies and “Routinization”


This chapter presents and compares different approaches to the measurement of tasks, discussing their pros and cons and the problems that researchers encounter when testing theoretical constructs with available data. As an empirical application, the most representative framework is adopted and items across multiple data sources (EWCS, PIAAC, PDII, and O*NET) are used to generate different and comparable measures of an index of relative routine intensity (RTI) across the EU. The chapter also assesses the extent to which these data sources provide coherent pictures of the degree of routinization in 26 EU countries. Results consistently indicate that northern countries (plus Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) show the lowest values of the routinization (RTI) index, while eastern (Bulgaria, Hungary, and Slovakia, in particular) and some Mediterranean countries (Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal) show the highest RTI values. One important and controversial result emerges: while PIAAC, PDII, and O*NET provide overall similar pictures (especially for abstract and manual tasks), EWCS results differ substantially from those of the other databases, especially for routine and manual tasks. Future research could explore in depth the reasons for these different patterns of consistency.

The views expressed in the chapter are the sole responsibility of the author and in no way represent the view of the European Commission and its services.

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Correspondence to Federico Biagi .

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Biagi, F., Sebastian, R. (2020). Technologies and “Routinization”. In: Zimmermann, K. (eds) Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. Springer, Cham.

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