Skills, technical change and local labor markets: evidence from France 1990-2011
A skill-biased labor demand shift occurred in France, as well as other developed economies, over the last 20 years. We test one of the main hypothesis that explain this particular shift : a skill-biased technical change driven by the dissemination of Information and Communication Technologies and the automatisation of routine jobs, leading to their disappearance in favor of high-skilled jobs and low-skilled service jobs. Using a theoretical model developed by Autor and Dorn (2013), based on the analysis of the employment structure of local labor markets to identify national effects of technical change, we find evidence of a link between technical change and the 1990-2011 evolution of the labor force in France. In particular, we find that the low-skilled jobs switch from routine jobs to service jobs or unemployment. We also find that the labor demand shift interacts with a spatial functional specialization. This results are robust to the introduction of alternative hypothesis, such as globalization and international trade growth, or demographic changes.