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The Division of Labour, Worker Organisation, and Technological Change

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  • Lex Borghans
  • Bas Weel

Abstract

The model developed in this article explains differences in the division of labour across firms as a result of computer technology adoption. Changes in the division of labour result from reduced production time and improved communication possibilities. The first shifts the division of labour towards generic structures, while the latter enhances specialisation. Our estimates for a sample of Dutch establishments in the period 1990-6 suggest that productivity gains have been the main determinant for shifts in the division of labour. These productivity gains induced skill upgrading, while in firms gaining from improved communication possibilities specialisation increased and skill requirements have fallen. Copyright 2006 Royal Economic Society.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 116 (2006)
Issue (Month): 509 (02)
Pages: F45-F72

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:116:y:2006:i:509:p:f45-f72

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bas ter Weel & Semih Akcomak & Lex Borghans, 2010. "Measuring and interpreting trends in the division of labour in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 161, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  2. Cindy Zoghi & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2007. "Which workers gain upon adopting a computer?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 423-444, May.
  3. Borghans, Lex & ter Weel, Bas, 2008. "Understanding the Technology of Computer Technology Diffusion: Explaining Computer Adoption Patterns and Implications for the Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 3792, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," CPB Discussion Paper 269, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  5. R. Antonietti, 2006. "The skill content of technological change. Some conjectures on the role of education and job-training in reducing the timing of new technology adoption," Working Papers 556, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  6. Beckmann, Volker & Irawan, Evi & Wesseler, Justus, 2009. "The Effect of Farm Labor Organization on IPM Adoption. Empirical Evidence from Thailand," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 55767, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  7. Paul J.J. Welfens, 2006. "Grundlagen rationaler Transportpolitik bei Integration," EIIW Discussion paper disbei144, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
  8. Raouf Boucekkine & Patricia Criffo & Claudio Mattalia, 2008. "Technological progress, organizational change and the size of the Human Resources Department," Working Papers 2008_20, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  9. Kok, Suzanne & ter Weel, Bas, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 8053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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