Lecture Series February 2017: Daniel Oesch › view all

Prof. Daniel Oesch on "Job polarization and middle class erosion? Contradicting evidence for Europe"

February 01, 2017 - 16:15h/4:15pm
University of Bremen, UNICOM, Conference Room (7.3280)
Mary-Somerville-Str. 9
28359 Bremen
Series: Social Sciences Lecture Series
Event type: public

Daniel Oesch, Professor at the University of Lausanne gives a talk on "Job polarization and middle class erosion? Contradicting evidence for Europe" in the BIGSSS Lecture Series on February 1, 2017.

Daniel Oesch's talk takes place at UNICOM, Conference Room 7.3280, University of Bremen.


In the last few years, the media have sounded the alarm bells about job polarization and the erosion of the middle class. The academic impetus has come from economics and its influential routinization thesis. This thesis expects technology to hollow out the middle of the employment structure and to lead to a uniform pattern of job polarization across affluent countries. We revisit this thesis and argue that the empirical evidence is far from unambiguous. We present results for occupational change in several European countries and show that there is as strong a case to be made for occupational upgrading as for polarization. Moreover, if there is job polarization, it will likely hurt first the skilled working class – production workers and office clerks – and not the middle class of professionals and managers. 

About the BIGSSS Lecture Series:

Each semester the Graduate School invites a mix of established and young scholars to present their work to the students and the faculty of the School as well as to the wider interested public. Taking place every other week, the Lecture Series is the central meeting point for the entire Graduate School and provides an excellent opportunity for engaging in intensive, interdisciplinary, scholarly debate.