Occupational Inequality in Wage Returns to Employer Demand for Types of ICT Skills 1991-2017

Is employer demand for particular types of ICT skills needed for job per­formance associated with a wage premium? The claim is that a wage premium is contingent upon whether an ICT skill is a core component of the occupational skill set or a newly introduced (i.e., novel) skill ele­ment, thus engen­dering occu­pational inequality in wage returns. The study pro­poses a sophisticated conceptualization and extrac­tion of types of ICT skills. It is the first one to measure employer demand for these skills directly, repeatedly (i.e., annually), and in long-term perspective. Analyses are based on job ads data taken from the Swiss Job Market Moni­tor (SJMM), a lon­gitudinal dataset from 1950 onwards of annual representative samples of job va­cancies advertised in the press and online that are matched to wage data taken from the Swiss Labor Force Survey (SLFS). Results show that novel ICT skills in occupations do reap a wage return whereas core ICT skills in occupa­tions do not. This corroborates the assumption that the unequal exposure of occupations to the digital transformation introduces a new di­mension of occupational inequality in wage returns that is related to ICT skills.


Buchmann, Marlis, Helen Buchs & Ann-Sophie Gnehm. 2020. Occupational Inequality in Wage Returns to Employer Demand for Types of ICT Skills 1991-2017. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, Sonderband Berufe und soziale Ungleichheit. Link

Buchmann, Marlis, Helen Buchs & Ann-Sophie Gnehm. 2020. Die Nachfrage nach IT-Kenntnissen auf dem schweizerischen Arbeitsmarkt. Social Change in Switzerland, N°24. DOI: 10.22019/SC-2020-00008 Link