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The growth and valuation of computing and other generic skills

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  • Andy Dickerson
  • Francis Green

Abstract

This paper describes a method for measuring job skills using survey data on detailed work activities, and using these measures examines whether the utilisation of skills is growing, and how they are valued in the labour market. We show that between 1997 and 2001 there was a growth in Britain in the utilisation of computing skills, literacy, numeracy, technical know-how, high-level communication skills, planning skills, client communication skills, horizontal communication skills, problem-solving, and checking skills. Computer skills utilisation was growing the fastest, and the use of computers was becoming more sophisticated. We re-evaluate the issue of whether computers have affected wages, taking into account existing critiques in the literature. We find that both computer skills and high-level communication skills carry positive wage premia, as shown both in cross-section hedonic wage equations that control for many detailed activities, and through a within-cohorts change analysis. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 56 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 371-406

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:56:y:2004:i:3:p:371-406

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Cited by:
  1. Hugo Figueiredo & Pedro Teixeira & Jill Rubery, 2011. "Is Mass Higher Education Working? An Update and a Reflection on the Sustainability of Higher Education Expansion in Portugal," Working Papers 14, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
  2. Jaison R. Abel & Todd M. Gabe, 2008. "Human capital and economic activity in urban America," Staff Reports 332, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Lex Borghans & Hans Heijke, 2005. "The production and use of human capital: Introduction," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 133-142.
  4. Biesma, R.G. & Pavlova, M. & van Merode, G.G. & Groot, W., 2007. "Using conjoint analysis to estimate employers preferences for key competencies of master level Dutch graduates entering the public health field," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 375-386, June.
  5. Francis Green & Yu Zhu, 2008. "Overqualification, Job Dissatisfaction, and Increasing Dispersion in the Returns to Graduate Education," Studies in Economics 0803, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  6. Allen Jim & Grip Andries de, 2007. "Skill Obsolescence, Lifelong Learning and Labor Market Participation," ROA Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  7. Jasper Van Loo & Bert Toolsema, 2005. "The empirical determination of key skills from an economic perspective," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 207-221.
  8. Loo,Jasper B.,van & Toolsema,Bert, 2004. "The Empirical Determination of Key Skills from an Economic Perspective," ROA Research Memorandum 004, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  9. 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.
  10. Andries de Grip & Inge Sieben, 2005. "The effects of human resource management on small firms' productivity and employees' wages," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(9), pages 1047-1054.
  11. Christophe Nordman & Laure Pasquier-Doumer, 2013. "Transitions in a West African Labour Market: The Role of Social Networks," Working Papers DT/2013/12, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  12. Mañé Vernet, Ferran, 2010. "El retorno a las competencias para los titulados universitarios catalanes," Working Papers 2072/179591, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  13. G Johnes, 2005. "Skills and earnings revisited," Working Papers 573993, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  14. Mañé Vernet, Ferran & Miravet, Daniel, 2010. "An investigation on the pay-off to generic competences for core employees in Catalan manufacturing firms," Working Papers 2072/179595, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  15. Fernández, Rosa M. & Nordman, Christophe J., 2009. "Are there pecuniary compensations for working conditions?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 194-207, April.
  16. Mañé Vernet, Ferran & Miravet, Daniel, 2010. "Sobreeducación y Sobrecualificación en los Universitarios Catalanes. Una perspectiva de género," Working Papers 2072/179592, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.

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