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Skill Up: Smart Work, Occupational Mix and Regional Productivity

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mariachiara Barzotto



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


New technologies and sector imbalances due to manufacturing hollowing out have dented the regional stock of competencies in the EU labour markets. This raises concerns over the sustainability of the EU’s competitiveness in the longer term. The present study sheds light on what occupational mix might be able to deliver greater regional productivity in the light of emerging industrial dynamics. We estimate panel regression models using regional data from the EU Labour Force Survey and Eurostat regional statistics. Our results show that regional gross value added is significantly improved if regions have a mix of occupations that includes what we define as smart workers: these are workers employed in advanced manufacturing and knowledge-based production-support activities. We also test interactions amongst production and production-support occupations as well as the non-linear effect between smart workers and regional gross value added. Policy implications are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Barzotto M, De Propris L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Economic Geography

Year: 2018

Volume: 19

Issue: 5

Pages: 1049-1075

Print publication date: 01/09/2019

Online publication date: 26/11/2018

Acceptance date: 20/09/2018

Date deposited: 04/12/2018

ISSN (print): 1468-2702

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2710

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/jeg/lby050


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