The changing demand for skills in the Netherlands

Melline A. Somers, Sofie J. Cabus, Wim Groot, Henriette Maassen van den Brink

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper


This study examines the wage returns and changes in the returns for workers employed in occupations that are intensive in tasks requiring non-routine analytical and non-routine interpersonal skills in the Netherlands during the period 2001-2016. We match measures of skills from the US O*NET system to the International Standard Occupation Classification (ISCO). We combine these data with information on employment and wages from administrative data from Statistics Netherlands. We document an increase in the returns to analytical skills, from 9.4 percent in 2001 to 16.0 percent in 2016. Quantile regressions show that the increase in returns from analytical skills can be observed for workers in the lower-, middle-, as well as upper-end of the wage distribution. These findings suggests that non-routine analytical skills are increasingly rewarded on the Dutch labour market. This is consistent with the
idea that computer technologies are complementary to the skills required to perform non-routine tasks. With respect to interpersonal skills, we only document a small increase in the wage premium for full-time workers in the upper-end of the wage distribution, from 5.8 percent in 2001 to 7.4 percent in 2016. This finding suggests that increased organisational complexity – induced
by technological advances – has put greater demands on interpersonal and managerial skills.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherHouse of Skills
Number of pages34
ISBN (Print)978-90-830241-1-0
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

SeriesHouse of Skills Working Paper Series

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