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Friday, April 6 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
FR3.30.31 Task-Biased Technological Change, City Size, and Inter-City Employment Gap in Korea

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Task-biased technological change has brought changes in labor demand over the last few decades. With the increasing number of codifiable tasks, machines have increasingly substituted workers who previously performed routine tasks, such as record-keeping, calculation, and picking or sorting. By contrast, machines have complemented workers who perform non-routine tasks involving interaction, creativity, and intuition. Most non-routine cognitive tasks require highly sophisticated social and cognitive skills. Importantly, these types of skills are not evenly distributed across all cities. A large city provides concentrated social and cognitive skills. Considering that the level of interactive and cognitive skills of the workforce is high in large cities, the number of jobs performing non-routine cognitive tasks may increase to such an extent that the number of jobs performing routine-tasks is reduced. However, sufficiently increasing jobs performing non-routine cognitive tasks to offset the decline in jobs performing routine tasks in small cities is difficult. Accordingly, we examine whether the city size mediates the relationship between task-biased technological change and inter-city employment gap. The main research questions of this study are as follows. Is employment gap widening between large and small cities? If so, can this widening gap be attributed to an increase in non-routine cognitive task workers than the decrease in routine-task workers in large cities? We utilize a panel model to analyze how the number of routine task workers and non-routine cognitive task workers changes with the city size and time. Results show that the employment gap between cities has widened from 2000 to 2015. Compared with small cities, the decline in the number of routine task workers was less and the number of workers engaged in non-routine tasks increases more in large cities.


Minyoung Kim, Yonsei University; Up Lim, Yonsei University


Friday April 6, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Provincial Ballroom (2nd Floor)