Working Paper No. 1072

Firms and Skills: The Evolution of Worker Sorting

Published: June 4, 2015Pages: 81Keywords: Skill sorting; Skilled-biased technological change; Outsourcing; Globalization; Cognitive skills; Non-cognitive skills; Personality; Employer-employee matched dataJEL-codes: J24; J62; L21; O33

Firms and Skills: The Evolution of Worker Sorting Christina Håkanson, Erik Lindqvist and Jonas Vlachos

We document a significant increase in the sorting of workers by cognitive and non-cognitive skills across Swedish firms between 1986 and 2008. The weight of the evidence suggests that the increase in sorting is due to stronger complementarities between worker skills and technology. In particular, a large fraction of the increase can be explained by the expansion of the ICT sector and a reallocation of engineers across firms.

We also find evidence of increasing assortative matching, in the sense that workers who are particularly skilled in their respective educational groups are more likely to work in the same firms. Changes in sorting patterns and skill gradients can account for a about half of the increase in between-firm wage dispersion.

Erik Lindqvist


Ph: +46 8 736 9252
Mob: +46 73 150 4011

Jonas Vlachos


Ph: +46 8 16 30 46
Mob: +46 70 893 3240

Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

Sick of Inequality.jpg

In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 |