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Young economists in Lisbon

Young economists in Lisbon

Last week, we had the pleasure to participate in the Spring Meeting of Young Economists, held in Lisbon. It goes without saying that our stay there was extraordinary and that we look forward to a soon return to the land of Fado and Porto wine.

Besides enjoying the lovely city, we presented a new research project relating the task content of occupations with within occupation wage inequality. Our initial results suggest that more routine intensive occupations were related to larger wage inequality. Two mechanisms stand behind this outcome. First, because occupations with a high routine content are more likely to experience increasing competition from computers, which pins down wages. Second, because productivity of workers in those occupations does not bear such a close relation to their skills, which also make workers more interchangeable and reduces their bargaining power. We suggest that the second approach is more promising.

These results are preliminary, though. During the conference we received many useful comments, both from the discussant (thank you, Theo!) and from the audience. We will work to incorporate them to our analysis and have a working paper soon.