In 2010, Steve Jobs announced that Apple would no longer support Adobe Flash—a popular set of tools for creating Internet applications. After the announcement, the use of Flash declined precipitously. We show there was no reduction in Flash hourly wages because of a rapid supply response: Flash specialists, especially those who were younger, were less specialized, or had good “fall back” skills quickly transitioned away from Flash; new market entrants also avoided Flash, leaving the effective supply per Flash job opening unchanged. As such, there was no factor market reason for firms to stay with Flash longer.
The Death of a Technical Skill
February 24, 2021