John Horton
@johnjhorton 3 months, 2 weeks ago 92 views

What happens when a skill you have becomes obsolete? No, this isn't a R vs. Stata thread---it's a thread about a working paper w/ @sonnytambe!

The skill we look at is Adobe Flash, which @apple decided to no longer support back in 2010, which in turn caused demand/interest to plummet, as measured on @StackOverflow and in online labor markets, one of which is our empirical context
Despite the big fall-off in Flash jobs posted, very little else appeared to change in the market for Flash skills: wages for Flash jobs didn't fall, jobs didn't become easier to fill & openings weren't inundated with out-of-work Flash programmers
What happened was that (a) new entrants stopped specializing in Flash and (b) at least some existing Flash specialists started moving to other skills. In short, the demand shock quickly became a supply shock
At the level of the individual Flash worker, using a matched sample, we find (a) no fall-off in their wages, (b) some decline on-platform hours-worked. The most-focused on Flash workers had substantial increases in application intensity and a movement towards new skills
In short, despite Flash skills being expensive to acquire, workers abandoning a skill with no perceived future create a de factor highly elastic supply curve, keeping wages "flat." We show how this is possible with a little toy model, of course.
We also conduct a survey of Flash workers affected by the decline. They confirm many of our stylized facts & give color to the adjustment process. For one, they report being highly-forward looking and market-oriented & deciding what skills to pick up
They also emphasize how critical on-the-job learning is to acquiring new skills. Sadly for us teachers, formal classroom learning gets almost no love
Anyway, lots more in the paper & thanks for reading this far- check it out! Comments, feedback, suggested citations (even to/esp to your own papers) most welcome!

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“We don’t negotiate salaries” is a negotiation tactic.

Always. No, your company is not an exception.

A tactic I don’t appreciate at all because of how unfairly it penalizes low-leverage, junior employees, and those loyal enough not to question it, but that’s negotiation for you after all. Weaponized information asymmetry.

Listen to Aditya

And by the way, you should never be worried that an offer would be withdrawn if you politely negotiate.

I have seen this happen *extremely* rarely, mostly to women, and anyway is a giant red flag. It suggests you probably didn’t want to work there.

You wish there was no negotiating so it would all be more fair? I feel you, but it’s not happening.

Instead, negotiate hard, use your privilege, and then go and share numbers with your underrepresented and underpaid colleagues. […]