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The importance of occupations in the Turkish labor market: job and wage polarization

Recent literature has identified three trends in the labor markets of the industrialized countries: (i) employment share of services sector has increased, (ii) employment share in low and high skilled occupations has increased (job polarization), (iii) and similarly wages in the low and high skilled occupations have increased relative to middling jobs (wage polarization). In this paper, we investigate the existence of such findings in the Turkish labor market for the 2004-2010 period using Labor Force Survey data. We found evidence for wage and job polarization. Next, we show that occupations have significant contribution in explaining the change in wage distribution. In the literature, reasons behind these patterns are investigated using data on task composition of occupations. However, no such data is available for Turkey. Thus, to conduct research in identifying the sources of recent trends in the labour market, compiling data on occupation-task decomposition is important.