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Labor supply and personal computer adoption

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  • Mark Doms
  • Ethan Lewis

Abstract

The positive correlations found between computer use and human capital are often interpreted as evidence that the adoption of computers have raised the relative demand for skilled labor, the widely touted skill-biased technological change hypothesis. However, several models argue the skill-intensity of technology is endogenously determined by the relative supply of skilled labor. We use instruments for the supply of human capital coupled with a rich dataset on computer usage by businesses to show that the supply of human capital is an important determinant of the adoption of personal computers. Our results suggest that great caution must be exercised in placing economic interpretations on the correlations often found between technology and human capital.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006-18.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2006-18

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Keywords: Labor supply;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Doms, Mark & Lewis, Ethan & Robb, Alicia, 2010. "Local labor force education, new business characteristics, and firm performance," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 61-77, January.
  2. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Tommaso Frattini, 2008. "The labour market impact of immigration," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 478-495, Autumn.
  3. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz, 2012. "How Do Industries and Firms Respond to Changes in Local Labor Supply?," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012002, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. Liao, Wen-Chi, 2010. "Outsourcing and computers: Impact on urban skill level and rent," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2-3), pages 136-154, May.
  5. Richard Dion & Robert Fay, 2008. "Understanding Productivity: A Review of Recent Technical Research," Discussion Papers 08-3, Bank of Canada.
  6. Sand, Benjamin M., 2013. "A re-examination of the social returns to education: Evidence from U.S. cities," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 97-106.
  7. Leah Platt Boustan, 2010. "Was Postwar Suburbanization "White Flight"? Evidence from the Black Migration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 417-443, February.

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