By clicking “Accept All Cookies,” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation and analyze site usage.

Skip to main content

The Death of a Technical Skill

February 24, 2021

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.