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Computers are even more important than you thought: An Analysis of the changing skill-intensity of jobs

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Author Info

  • A Felstead
  • D Gallie
  • F Green

Abstract

We investigate the impact of computer usage at work and other job features on the changing skills required of workers. We compare skills utilisation in Britain at three data points: 1986, 1992 and 1997, using responses to identical questions on comparable surveys. We question the validity of investigating the facts about, and the sources of, rising skills by using just educational attainment or occupational grouping data. We re-examine empirical evidence concerning skills trends, using proxies for the level of skills actually used in jobs. We find that: job skills have increased between 1986 and 1997, faster for women than for men; these skills changes are not captured simply by changes in the occupational class structure; the spread of computer usage is very strongly associated with the process of upskilling throughout the period; expanded use of quality circles is also linked to upskilling; evidence for any direct role of trade in inducing skills increases is weak; using the qualification held or occupation as a skills measure can lead to erroneous conclusions as to the origin of skills changes

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0439.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0439

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

Related research

Keywords: Skills; computer; education; training;

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Cited by:
  1. Craig de Laine & Patrick Laplagne & Susan Stone, 2001. "The increasing demand for skilled workers in Australia: the role of technical change," Labor and Demography 0105005, EconWPA.
  2. Falk, Martin, 2001. "The impact of office machinery and computer capital on the demand for heterogeneous labor," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-66, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Melka, Johanna & Nayman, Laurence, 2005. "L’impact des nouvelles technologies de l’information sur la croissance française, 1980-2001," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 81(1), pages 75-110, Mars-Juin.
  4. Paul Auerbach & Peter Skott, . "Skill Asymmetries, Increasing Wage Inequality and Unemployment," Economics Working Papers 2000-18, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  5. Peter Skott, 2005. "Wage inequality and overeducation in a model with efficiency wages," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2005-06, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  6. Peter Skott & Paul Auerbach, 2004. "Wage inequality and skill asymmetries," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2004-03, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  7. Jorge Saba Arbache, 2001. "Trade Liberalisation and Labor Markets in Developing Countries: Theory and Evidence," Studies in Economics 0112, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  8. Johanna Melka & Nanno Mulder & Laurence Nayman & Soledad Zignago, 2003. "Skills, Technology and Growth is ICT the Key to Success ? An Analysis of ICT Impact on French Growth," Working Papers 2003-04, CEPII research center.
  9. Francis Green, 2000. "Why has Work Effort become more intense? Conjectures and Evidence about Effort-Biased Technical Change and other stories," Studies in Economics 0003, Department of Economics, University of Kent.

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