Big Data Reveals Job Change

Task Specialization in U.S. Cities from 1880-2000
Guy Michaels, Ferdinand Rauch, Stephen J. Redding | NBER Working Paper 18715
January 2013

In this study, economists Guy Michaels, Ferdinand Rauch, and Stephen J. Redding analyze the verbs used to describe jobs in the U.S. Dictionary of Occupational Titles during a 120 year time period. They do this by geographic area, correlating their findings with the spread of telephone service and transportation networks. They discover “a systematic reallocation of employment over time towards interactive occupations, which involve tasks described by verbs that appear in thesaurus categories concerned with thought, communication and inter-social activity.”

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