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Which skills for the digital era?: Returns to skills analysis

This paper sheds light on the extent to which different types of skills are rewarded as industries go digital. It relies on information from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills on labour market participation and workers’ skills for 31 countries as well as on a novel OECD index on the digital penetration of industries. It investigates how cognitive and non-cognitive skills are rewarded in digital vs. less digital intensive industries and assesses the extent to which skills bundles matter. The results indicate that digital intensive industries especially reward workers having relatively higher levels of self-organisation and advanced numeracy skills. Moreover, for workers in digital intensive industries, bundles of skills are particularly important: workers endowed with a high level of numeracy skills receive an additional wage premium, if they also show high levels of self-organisation or managing and communication skills.