Technical Change and the Relative Demand for Skilled Labor: The United States in Historical Perspective

  title={Technical Change and the Relative Demand for Skilled Labor: The United States in Historical Perspective},
  author={Lawrence F. Katz and Robert A. Margo},
  journal={Macroeconomics: Employment},
  • L. Katz, R. Margo
  • Published 1 February 2013
  • Economics, History
  • Macroeconomics: Employment
This paper examines shifts over time in the relative demand for skilled labor in the United States. Although de-skilling in the conventional sense did occur overall in nineteenth century manufacturing, a more nuanced picture is that occupations "hollowed out": the share of "middle-skill" jobs - artisans - declined while those of "high-skill" - white collar, non-production workers - and "low-skill" - operatives and laborers increased. De-skilling did not occur in the aggregate economy; rather… 

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