The Occupational Structures of Low- and High-Wage Service Sector Establishments” (Economic Development Quarterly 2019)

Abstract: The occupational structure of an establishment provides a description of its production process by detailing the distribution
and relative intensity of tasks performed. In this study, the author investigates whether there are substantive differences in the
occupational structures of low- and high-wage service sector establishments. The author shows that low-wage establishments
organize production to use less labor in professional occupations compared with high-wage establishments operating in
the same local labor market and industry. In addition, low-wage establishments employ fewer individuals in information
technology occupations, employ fewer managers, and have substantially wider supervisory spans of control. These results
indicate that, despite operating in the same narrowly defined labor and product markets, low-wage establishments organize
production to less intensively use labor in skilled occupations.


Upjohn Institute working paper; 18-292