An article by UNTANGLED researcher Eduard Storm of the RWI–Leibniz Institute for Economic Research, “Task specialization and the Native-Foreign Wage Gap”, has been publishedin LABOUR: Review of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations, Volume 36, Issue 2.
The study documents that worker-level variation in tasks has played a key role in the widening of the wage gap between German natives and foreigners. Storm finds idiosyncratic differences account for up to 34 per cent of the gap. Importantly, natives specialise in high-paying interactive activities not only between, but also within occupations. In contrast, foreign workers specialise in low-paying manual activities. This enhanced degree of task specialisation accounts for 11 per cent of the gap among high-wage earners and 25 per cent among low-wage earners, thus offering new insight into sources for imperfect substitution of native and foreign workers and consequently small migration-induced wage effects.
The article can be downloaded here: