February 2016

IZA DP No. 9736: Differences in Job De-Routinization in OECD Countries: Evidence from PIAAC

The aim of the paper is threefold. First, we compute differences on the degree of de-routinization of job contents across a harmonized and hence comparable sample of Anglo-Saxon, many European and even Asian advanced countries. We do so by using very precise information on job contents at the worker level, which allows for job task heterogeneity within occupations. Second we assess the extent to which computer adoption leads to the observed difference in the degree of de-routinization of job contents. Third, we test whether higher degrees of technology adoption are associated to higher wage inequality. Our results show remarkable differences in the degree of de-routinization of job contents across countries, being computer adoption at work a key significant driver of such differences. In particular, ICT use at work explains 13.4% (6.3%) of the cross-country unconditional (conditional) differences in de-routinization of job contents. Regarding the impact of adoption technology on wage inequality, our results indicate that although differences in ICT adoption explain an important and significant part of wage differentials, the effect is homogeneous for all the wage distribution, implying that we cannot find a significant association between wage inequality and technology adoption.