WAGE PROGRESSION OF LOW-EDUCATED WORKERS

What is the role of soft skills?

In this paper we explore a potential channel to foster social and income mobility, namely the “good jobs” channel. A good job is one that provides workers, even those with low education, with favorable prospects for tenure, pay progression and promotion within the firm.
What are the characteristics of these jobs? Soft skills have been emphasised as increasingly important. When we look at workers in occupations that do not require any formal level of education we indeed see that pay progression is stronger in occupations where soft skills are important.

 

MY WORK IN THIS AREA HAS BEEN WITH SOME EXCELLENT COAUTHORS

PHILIPPE AGHION

(College de France and LSE)

ANTONIN BERGEAUD

(Banque de France)

RICHARD BLUNDELL

(UCL and IFS)

 

SELECTED RESEARCH AND ARTICLES

Personal development, personal and caree
Collaborating at Work

AGHION, BERGEUAD, BLUNDELL AND GRIFFITH (2020) "WAGE PROGRESSION OF LOW-EDUCATED WORKERS" LATEST SLIDES, NOVEMBER 2020

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AGHION, P., A. BERGEUAD, R. BLUNDELL AND R. GRIFFITH "THE INNOVATION PREMIUM TO SOFT SKILLS IN LOW-SKILLED OCCUPATIONS" VOXEU, 3 JANUARY 2020

Negative externalities from consumption are common, ranging from the social and health costs of drinking, smoking or drug abuse, to the environmental damage caused by fossil fuel use. This column exploits the introduction of a price floor for alcohol in Scotland but not in other parts of the UK to assess the efficacy of a price floor for tackling the externalities associated with alcohol consumption. It shows that, if the external cost of an additional drink is at least moderately higher for heavy compared with lighter drinkers, then a price floor leads to larger welfare gains than a simple Pigouvian-style tax on ethanol. However, a tax system that taxes the ethanol in stronger drinks more heavily can do as well as a price floor at reducing heavy drinking while raising tax revenue.

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AGHION, P., A. BERGEUAD, R. BLUNDELL AND R. GRIFFITH "THE INNOVATION PREMIUM TO SOFT SKILLS IN LOW-SKILLED OCCUPATIONS" CEPR DP 14102, NOVEMBER 2019

Matched employee-employer data from the UK are used to analyze the wage premium to working in an innovative firm. We find that firms that are more R&D intensive pay higher wages on average, and this is particularly true for workers in some low-skilled occupations. We propose a model in which a firm's innovativeness is reflected in the degree of complementarity between workers in low-skill and high-skilled occupations, and in which non-verifiable soft skills are an important determinant of the wages of workers in low-skilled occupations. The model yields additional predictions on training, tenure and outsourcing which we also find support for in data.

 

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