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Occupational Change in EuropeHow Technology and Education Transform the Job Structure$
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Daniel Oesch

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199680962

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680962.001.0001

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(p.145) Conclusion
Occupational Change in Europe

Daniel Oesch

Oxford University Press

The conclusion reiterates the book’s three major findings. First, the countries under study have substantially upgraded their employment structure since 1990. Second, employment polarization may become consequential for the future of European labour markets as employment dropped more in intermediary than in bottom-end occupations. Third, occupational upgrading does not seem to have come at the cost of low educated workers’ employment prospects. In terms of policy recommendations, our evidence suggests that governments should take action at both ends of the labour market to bring in the dividends of upgrading. At the upper end, public investment into tertiary education allows firms to hire highly educated workers in sufficient numbers and thus to take advantage of technological progress. At the lower end, a strengthening of upper secondary education and the establishment of a minimum wage encourage firms to invest into their workers’ productivity rather than rely on a low-wage sector.

Keywords:   Class divisions, class mobilization, working class, polarization, educational investment, tertiary education

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