General Purpose Technology and Within-Group Inequality
AbstractThis paper develops a theoretical model to analyse how a General Purpose Technology (GPT) shapes within-group wage inequality when workers are ex-ante equal, but their adaptability to new technologies is subject to stochastic factors that are history dependent. It is argued that the diffusion of a GPT leverages the importance of these stochastic factors in three ways. First, a rise in the speed of embodied technological progress raises the market premium to workers adaptable to the leading-edge technology. Second, the generality of the technology raises the ability of adaptable workers to transfer recently acquired knowledge to new machines. Third, the generality of the technology reduces the cost of retooling old machines, which increases the demand for adaptable workers. In the model the rise in within-group inequality is mainly transitory, and is mirrored by a rise in wage instability. The key predictions of the model are shown to be in line with some of the existing empirical evidence.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2474.
Date of creation: Jun 2000
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
- J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
- O30 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Bartel, Ann P & Lach, Saul & Sicherman, Nachum, 2005.
"Outsourcing and Technological Change,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
5082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bartel, Ann P. & Lach, Saul & Sicherman, Nachum, 2009. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 4678, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ann Bartel & Saul Lach & Nachum Sicherman, 2005. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 11158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eswar S. Prasad, 2002.
"Wage Inequality in the United Kingdom, 1975-99,"
IMF Staff Papers,
Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(3), pages 339-363.
- Keane, Michael P. & Prasad, Eswar S., 2006.
"Changes in the structure of earnings during the Polish transition,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 389-427, August.
- Eswar Prasad & Michael P. Keane, 2002. "Changes in the Structure of Earnings During the Polish Transition," IMF Working Papers 02/135, International Monetary Fund.
- Keane, Michael P. & Prasad, Eswar, 2002. "Changes in the Structure of Earnings During the Polish Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Yoshiaki Azuma & Herschel I. Grossman, 2001.
NBER Working Papers
8206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sunde, Uwe, 2001. "Human Capital Accumulation, Education and Earnings Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 310, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Campbell leith & Chol-Won Li, 2001. "Wage Inequality and the Effort Incentive Effects of Technical Progress," Working Papers 2001_14, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
- Martine Carre & David Drouot, 2004. "Pace versus Type: The Effect of Economic Growth on Unemployment and Wage Patterns," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(3), pages 737-757, July.
- Weinberg, Bruce A., 2004. "Experience and Technology Adoption," IZA Discussion Papers 1051, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.