Tasks and Skills in Additive Versus Traditional Manufacturing: a First Look at Evidence from Job Vacancies

Avner Ben-Ner (Carlson School of Management, University of Minnes)
Ainhoa Urtasun (Department of Management, Public University of Nav)
Bledi Taska (Burning Glass Technologies)

Abstract : Additive manufacturing is poised to transform production of many parts and finished goods. Little is known about its effects on work. The paper provides the first analysis of differences in tasks and skills of core production employees – engineers, technicians and operators – in additive manufacturing (AM) and traditional manufacturing (TM). In order to control for unobservable heterogeneity that may affect tasks and skill requirements, we focus on hybrid AM-TM manufacturing establishments (plants). We study 1,304 US plants that posted jobs for both AM and TM core workers during between January 2014 and February 2019. We find that, for the three occupations, AM vacancy postings reflect considerably more complex tasks, slightly more interdependent tasks and require more cognitive, social and technical skills than TM postings.

Dynamics of Skills Demand and Job Transition Opportunities: a Machine Learning Approach

Patricia Prüfer (CentERdata, Tilburg University)
Pradeep Kumar (CentERdata, Tilburg University)
Marcia Den Uijl (CentERdata, Tilburg University)

Abstract : What are consequences of the ongoing digitalization and automatization for the labor market? We analyze to which extent types of occupations and skill requirements change over time and how these insights can be used to substantiate demand for reskilling of several groups of employees. To answer these questions, we make use of a novel approach in which we combine unstructured data from the Internet with structured data from labor market forecasts. Based on a dataset of 95% of all job vacancies in the Netherlands over a 6-year period with 7.7 million data points, we show which skills are particularly important for which type of profession. Besides, we provide job transition opportunities for employees from shrinking sector or occupations to sectors and professions not affected negatively by technological change. Our results suggest that the labor market is undergoing a transitions from degree-based to skill-based demand. This has consequences for both the participants and the institutions connected to the labor market.

The Complementary Effect of Organizational Practices and Workers' Type of Education

Filippo Pusterla (ETH Zurich, KOF Swiss Economic Institute)

Abstract : This paper investigates the relationship between organizational practices and workers' type of education in affecting firms' productivity. Using Swiss firm-level panel data covering the period 1996-2015, I estimate complementarities among workers' type of education and a large set of organizational practices which are aggregated to three domains: decentralization, incentive pay, and work design - where work design comprehends job rotation, teamwork, and hierarchical layers. I consider workers with four types of education: no post-compulsory education, upper secondary vocational education and training, tertiary professional education, and tertiary academic education. The results indicate that the complementarity between the extent of firms' decentralization and education is similar for workers with no post-compulsory education and workers with an upper secondary vocational education and training, while complementarity is higher for tertiary educated workers. In contrast, the estimations reveal no complementarity between incentive pay schemes and higher level of workers' education. Finally, the results indicate complementarity between work design and tertiary educated workers, both professional and academic ones.