DP9308 Task Specialization in U.S. Cities from 1880-2000
|Author(s):||Guy Michaels, Ferdinand Rauch, Stephen J. Redding|
|Publication Date:||January 2013|
|Keyword(s):||economic development, human interaction, urbanization|
|JEL(s):||N92, O18, R12|
|Programme Areas:||Labour Economics, Development Economics|
|Link to this Page:||www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9308|
We develop a new methodology for quantifying the tasks undertaken within occupations using 3,000 verbs from around 12,000 occupational descriptions in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOTs). Using micro-data from the United States from 1880-2000, we find an increase in the employment share of interactive occupations within sectors over time that is larger in metro areas than non-metro areas. We provide evidence that this increase in the interactiveness of employment is related to the dissemination of improvements in transport and communication technologies. Our findings highlight a change in the nature of agglomeration over time towards an increased emphasis on human interaction.