Skip to main content

Ruhr Economic Papers #1021

Skill Mismatch and Learning-by-Doing: Theory and Evidence from Time Allocation on Tasks

This paper studies wage effects and job mobility as a result of skill mismatch in worker- occupation pairs. I develop a Roy model in which learning on the job induces workers to shift more time towards job-specific activities. Using a short task panel containing data on worker’s time allocation of job tasks, I test the model’s implications and present three main findings. First, workers who are overqualified in their initial occupation in regards to abstract tasks are more likely to switch to another job by up to 19 pp. Second, task-based learning only pays off with respect to acquisition of abstract skills and is associated with a return of up to 2-3% with each year of experience. Third, gains from task-based learning are heterogenous and benefit primarily workers in abstract-intensive occupations. My findings highlight the effects of investments in job-specific skills on wage growth and job mobility.

ISBN: 978-3-96973-187-1

JEL-Klassifikation: J24, J31, J62

Link to the document