The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?
AbstractAre the large measured wage differentials for on-the-job computer use a true return to computer skills, or do they just reflect that higher wage workers use computers on their jobs? We examine this issue with three large cross-sectional surveys from Germany. First, we confirm that the estimated wage differential associated with computer use in Germany is very similar to the U.S. differential. Second, we also measure large differentials for on-the-job use of calculators, telephones, pens or pencils, or for those who work while sitting down. We argue that these findings cast some doubt on the literal interpretation of the computer use wage differential as reflecting true returns to computer use or skill. Copyright 1997, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Volume (Year): 112 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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Other versions of this item:
- John E. DiNardo & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," NBER Working Papers 5606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dinardo, J.E. & Pischke, J.S., 1996. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," Working papers 96-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment
- O30 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
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