We analyse changes in the task content of jobs in 1996-2014 Poland, applying established methodology to Polish LFS data. The intensity of cognitive tasks increased, while that of manual tasks decreased, mainly due to between-occupational reallocation. The younger cohorts underwent the largest shifts in the task structure – largely driven by the tertiary education boom in Poland. For some cohorts the increased supply of non-routine tasks exceeded the actual demand.

The article was published in Ekonomia. Rynek, gospodarka, społeczeństwo (47) 2016.


In this paper we analyse changes in the task content of jobs in Poland between 1996 and 2014. We follow the Autor, Levy & Murnane (2003) and Acemoglu and Autor (2011) approach using the O*NET 2003 and 2014 data and Polish LFS at 4-digit occupation classification level. We find increasing intensity of both non-routine and routine cognitive tasks, and decreasing intensity of both routine and non-routine manual tasks, mainly due to between-occupation shifts in employment structure. The cohorts born after 1970 underwent large shifts in the task intensity structure and contributed most to the overall changes in task contents, while almost no adjustments occurred in cohorts born before 1970. The growth of non-routine cognitive tasks among workers born after the 1970 was largely driven by the tertiary education boom in Poland, although in some cohorts rising supply of tertiary graduates was accompanied by a relative reduction of non-routine content of jobs.

keywords: task content of jobs, routinisation, intergenerational divide

JEL codes: , ,

publication year: 2015

language : English

thematic categories :

publishing series : IBS Working Paper

publication number : 10/2015

ISSN : 2451-4373

additional information: We thank participants of the “10th IZA/World Bank Conference on Employment and Development: Technological Change and Jobs” conference in Bonn for insightful comments. This paper was financially supported by the Network for Jobs and Development initiative under the auspices of the World Bank. Usual disclaimers apply. All errors are ours.

Wojciech Hardy

Institute for Structural Research (IBS), Faculty of Economic Sciences and Digital Economy Lab (DELab), University of Warsaw

Roma Keister

Institute for Structural Research (IBS), Warsaw School of Economics (SGH)

Piotr Lewandowski

Institute for Structural Research (IBS)

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