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Wage Inequality and the New Economy

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  • Philippe Aghion
  • Peter Howitt

Abstract

Many economists have argued that the observed increase in wage inequality in developed economies over the past 30 years is due to skill-biased technical progress. In this paper we put forward a somewhat different technology-based argument, namely that the increased inequality was caused by technical change linked to the pervasive innovation wave associated with the New Economy. This technical change was not skill-biased in the usual sense, but rather raised the reward to adaptability. This alternative approach based on the notion of 'general-purpose technology' can shed light on a number of outstanding puzzles on the evolution of wage inequality both between and within educational groups. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 18 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 306-323

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:18:y:2002:i:3:p:306-323

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Web page: http://oxrep.oupjournals.org/

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Cited by:
  1. Soogwan Doh & Connie McNeely, 2012. "A multi-dimensional perspective on social capital and economic development: an exploratory analysis," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 821-843, December.
  2. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:41:i:2/3:p:259-285 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Magalhaes, Manuela & Hellström, Christian, 2012. "Technology Diffusion and Its Effects on Social Inequalities," QM&ET Working Papers 12-17, Universidad de Alicante, Departamento de Métodos Cuantitativos y Teoría Económica.
  4. Riccardo LUCCHETTI & Stefano STAFFOLANI & Alessandro STERLACCHINI, 2003. "Computer, Wages and Working Hours in Italy," Working Papers 182, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  5. M. Piva & E. Santarelli & M. Vivarelli, 2003. "The Skill Bias Effect of Technological and Organisational Change: Evidenceand Policy Implications," Working Papers 486, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  6. Nick Adnett & Peter Davies, 2005. "Competition between or within schools? Re-assessing school choice," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 109-121.
  7. Sid Durbin, 2004. "Review of Workplace Skills, Technology Adoption and Firm Productivity: A Review," Treasury Working Paper Series 04/16, New Zealand Treasury.
  8. Amine, Samir & Lages Dos Santos, Pedro, 2011. "The influence of labour market institutions on job complexity," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 209-220, September.
  9. Bellmann, Lutz & Cornelißen, Thomas & Hübler, Olaf & Pahnke, André, 2008. "Betriebliche Reorganisation, Entlohnung und Beschäftigungsstabilität (Organisational change, wages and job stability)," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 41(2/3), pages 259-285.
  10. Samir Amine & Pedro Lages Dos Santos, 2010. "Technological choices and unemployment benefits in a matching model with heterogenous workers," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 101(1), pages 1-19, September.
  11. R. Antonietti, 2005. "The role of general and firm-specific training for new technology adoption and economic growth: a critical review," Working Papers 538, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

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