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The impact of computers on the employment of clerks and managers

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  • Paul Osterman
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates how the increased use of computers affects clerical and managerial employment. The author hypothesizes that the much-discussed displacement effect-computers taking over for clerks-is offset at least in part by complementary effects. For example, computers may increase clerical and managerial employment by lowering unit cost, thus expanding production, and by inducing structural reorganization of the firm. Analyzing new data from a national survey of computer installations by industry, the author finds that the net effect of computers in 1972-78 was to depress the employment of clerks and managers substantially, but that the pattern over time-a larger displacement effect in the first few years, followed by increased clerical and managerial employment-supports the bureaucratic reorganization hypothesis. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 39 (1986)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 175-186

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:39:y:1986:i:2:p:175-186

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    Cited by:
    1. Frances X. Frei & Patrick T. Harker & Larry W. Hunter, . "Innovation in Retail Banking," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-48, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Berndt, Ernst R. & Morrison, Catherine J. & Rosenblum, Larry S., 1992. "High-tech capital formation and labor composition in U.S. manufacturing industries : an exploratory analysis," Working papers 3414-92., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    3. Benjamin David, 2012. "Modélisation non-linéaire de l'impact des TIC sur la productivité du travail," EconomiX Working Papers 2012-51, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
    4. Guy Michaels, 2007. "The division of labor, coordination, and the demand for information processing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3251, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Edward N. Wolff, 2005. "Computerization and Rising Unemployment Duration," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 507-536, Fall.
    6. Edward Wolff, 2006. "The growth of information workers in the US economy, 1950-2000: the role of technological change, computerization, and structural change," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 221-255.

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