Routine and Ageing? the Intergenerational Divide in the Deroutinisation of Jobs in Europe

Roma Keister, Warsaw School of Economics
Piotr Lewandowski, Institute for Structural Research (IBS)
Wojciech Hardy, Institute for Structural Research (IBS)
Szymon Górka, Institute for Structural Research (IBS)

This paper analyses the age dimension of changes in the task composition of jobs in 12 European countries between 1998 and 2014. We use the approach proposed by Autor et al. (2003) and Acemoglu & Autor (2011), and combine O*NET occupation content data with EU-LFS individual data to construct five task content measures: non-routine cognitive analytical, non-routine cognitive interpersonal, routine cognitive, routine manual, and non-routine manual physical. We estimate occupation- level and worker-level regressions and find that the shift away from routine work and toward non-routine work occurred much faster among workers born between 1970 and 1989 than among workers born between 1950 and 1969. In the majority of countries, the ageing of the workforce occurred more quickly in occupations that were initially more routine-intensive, as the share of young workers in these occupations was declining. Individuals in these occupations were increasingly likely to be unemployed, especially if they were between the ages of 15 and 34.

Presented in Session 1151: Economics, Human Capital, and Labour Markets