In this excerpt of my Master’s thesis, I describe the class structure and the degree of technological replaceability of the workforce in thirteen European countries. This investigation allows me to test the “routine-biased technical change” framework, which states that middle-class workers are the most exposed to the automation risk (Autor et al., 2003). The class analysis is based on the occupational scheme elaborated by Daniel Oesch (2006), and the countries are clustered into four welfare regimes (Esping-Andersen, 1990). I also plot a longitudinal analysis describing the evolution of the class structure since the early 2000s. Some relevant differences emerge among regimes. Conservative and Mediterranean countries appear committed to preserving the clerical and industrial workforce, whereas Liberal countries are characterized by large groups of entrepreneurial and low-skill service occupations. The Social Democratic regime shows a great effort in upskilling workers without altering the service transition. As regards technological replaceability, education seems to matter more than what is stated by the RBTC scholars. More specifically, low-skill occupations – especially in the interpersonal service sector – appear more replaceable than expected. Hence, the middle class can be split into two groups based on educational attainment, and the least skilled branch turns out to be more replaceable than the most educated. Finally, automation affects national workforces differently: the Nordic and Anglo-Saxon labor forces appear more resilient than the Continental and Mediterranean ones.

Class structure and technological replaceability of the European workforce / G. Buzzelli. - LUISS University Press website : LUISS University Press, 2021 Nov 13. (LUISS WORKING PAPERS)

Class structure and technological replaceability of the European workforce.

G. Buzzelli
2021

Abstract

In this excerpt of my Master’s thesis, I describe the class structure and the degree of technological replaceability of the workforce in thirteen European countries. This investigation allows me to test the “routine-biased technical change” framework, which states that middle-class workers are the most exposed to the automation risk (Autor et al., 2003). The class analysis is based on the occupational scheme elaborated by Daniel Oesch (2006), and the countries are clustered into four welfare regimes (Esping-Andersen, 1990). I also plot a longitudinal analysis describing the evolution of the class structure since the early 2000s. Some relevant differences emerge among regimes. Conservative and Mediterranean countries appear committed to preserving the clerical and industrial workforce, whereas Liberal countries are characterized by large groups of entrepreneurial and low-skill service occupations. The Social Democratic regime shows a great effort in upskilling workers without altering the service transition. As regards technological replaceability, education seems to matter more than what is stated by the RBTC scholars. More specifically, low-skill occupations – especially in the interpersonal service sector – appear more replaceable than expected. Hence, the middle class can be split into two groups based on educational attainment, and the least skilled branch turns out to be more replaceable than the most educated. Finally, automation affects national workforces differently: the Nordic and Anglo-Saxon labor forces appear more resilient than the Continental and Mediterranean ones.
technological change; welfare regimes; class; employment
Settore SECS-P/01 - Economia Politica
LUISS
https://luissuniversitypress.it/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/02_Buzzelli-m.pdf
Working Paper
Class structure and technological replaceability of the European workforce / G. Buzzelli. - LUISS University Press website : LUISS University Press, 2021 Nov 13. (LUISS WORKING PAPERS)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/883359
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