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Contribution Details

Type Journal Article
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Education expansion and high-skill job opportunities for workers: Does a rising tide lift all boats?
Organization Unit
  • Tobias Schultheiss
  • Curdin Pfister
  • Ann-Sophie Gnehm
  • Uschi Backes-Gellner
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published in final form
  • English
Journal Title Labour Economics
Publisher Elsevier
Geographical Reach international
ISSN 0927-5371
Volume 82
Page Range 102354
Date 2023
Abstract Text We examine how education expansions affect the job opportunities for workers with and without the new education. To identify causal effects, we exploit a quasi-random establishment of Universities of Applied Sciences (UASs), bachelor-granting three-year colleges that teach and conduct applied research. By applying machine-learning methods to job advertisement data, we analyze job content before and after the education expansion. We find that, in regions with the newly established UASs, not only job descriptions of the new UAS graduates but also job descriptions of workers without this degree (i.e., middle-skilled workers with vocational training) contain more high-skill job content. This upskilling in job content is driven by an increase in high-skill R&D-related tasks and linked to employment and wage gains. The task spillovers likely occur because UAS graduates with applied research skills build a bridge between middle-skilled workers and traditional university graduates, facilitating the integration of the former into R&D-related tasks.
Free access at DOI
Digital Object Identifier 10.1016/j.labeco.2023.102354
Other Identification Number merlin-id:23544
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Keywords Tertiary education expansion, Labor demand, Machine learning, Job advertisements, Upskilling, Polarization, Job tasks