Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2015:31: Global Engagement, Complex Tasks, and the Distribution of Occupational Employment

Carl Davidson (), Fredrik Heyman (), Steven Matusz (), Fredrik Sjöholm () and Susan Chun Zhu ()
Additional contact information
Carl Davidson: Michigan State University
Fredrik Heyman: The Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Sweden
Steven Matusz: Michigan State University
Fredrik Sjöholm: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Susan Chun Zhu: Michigan State University

Abstract: Building on a framework introduced by Chaney and Ossa (2013), we construct a task-based model of the firm’s choice of occupational inputs to examine how that choice varies with greater global engagement. We depart from Chaney and Ossa by assuming that more complex tasks are more costly to complete. Within the structure of our model, firms skew employment toward occupations engaged in more complex tasks. Moreover, the distribution of employment is more skewed for more globalized firms, while it is less skewed for larger firms. These results are consistent with our empirical findings in Davidson, et al (2015).

Keywords: Globalization; Firms; Tasks; Employment

JEL-codes: F10; F16; F66

36 pages, October 7, 2015

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