NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Guy Michaels

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Working Papers

January 2013Tasks and Technology in the United States 1880-2000
with Ferdinand Rauch, Stephen J. Redding: w18715
We provide theory and evidence on changes in task inputs in the United States from 1880-2000. We combine a Roy model of worker selection across occupations with a new methodology for measuring individual production tasks performed by workers within occupations. We show that the recently-documented rise in non-routine tasks and decline in manual tasks extends much further back than hitherto thought to the late-nineteenth century. We reveal substantial heterogeneity within these broad categories of tasks, with those involving the formation of ideas increasing by up to twice the growth for non-routine tasks as a whole, and those involving the manipulation of inorganic matter decreasing by nearly twice the overall decline for manual tasks. We establish that these changes in task inputs are ex...
June 2010Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over 25 years
with Ashwini Natraj, John Van Reenen: w16138
OECD labor markets have become more "polarized" with employment in the middle of the skill distribution falling relative to the top and (in recent years) also the bottom of the skill distribution. We test the hypothesis of Autor, Levy, and Murnane (2003) that this is partly due to information and communication technologies (ICT) complementing the analytical tasks primarily performed by highly educated workers and substituting for routine tasks generally performed by middle educated workers (with little effect on low educated workers performing manual non-routine tasks). Using industry level data on the US, Japan, and nine European countries 1980-2004 we find evidence consistent with ICT-based polarization. Industries with faster growth of ICT had greater increases in relative demand for hi...

Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over 25 Years” (with Guy Michaels and Ashwini Natraj), CEP Discussion Paper No. 987. Forthcoming , Review of Economi cs and Statistics March 2014, Vol. 96, No. 1, Pages 60-77

December 2009Do Oil Windfalls Improve Living Standards? Evidence from Brazil
with Francesco Caselli: w15550
We use variation in oil output among Brazilian municipalities to investigate the effects of resource windfalls. We find muted effects of oil through market channels: offshore oil has no effect on municipal non-oil GDP or its composition, while onshore oil has only modest effects on non-oil GDP composition. However, oil abundance causes municipal revenues and reported spending on a range of budgetary items to increase, mainly as a result of royalties paid by Petrobras. Nevertheless, survey-based measures of social transfers, public good provision, infrastructure, and household income increase less (if at all) than one might expect given the increase in reported spending. To explain why oil windfalls contribute little to local living standards, we use data from the Brazilian media and feder...

Published: Francesco Caselli & Guy Michaels, 2013. "Do Oil Windfalls Improve Living Standards? Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 208-38, January. citation courtesy of

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