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Technology Adoption and Workforce Skill in U.S. Manufacturing Plants

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  • Dunne, Timothy

    ()
    (University of Oklahoma)

  • Troske, Kenneth

    ()
    (University of Kentucky)

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between technology adoption and workforce skill in US manufacturing plants. Using information on the use and adoption of seven different information technologies, we find that the relationship between technology adoption and workforce skill varies across the technologies. Technologies more closely related to engineering and design tasks are associated with more skilled workforces. Technologies more closely related to production activities are not. When we examine the relationship between technology adoption and skill upgrading of workforces, we find little correlation between the use and/or adoption of technologies and changes in workforce skill at the plant level. However, we do find that plants adopting technologies related to engineering and design tasks do grow faster over the period 1987-1997.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1427.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 2005, 52 (3), 387-405
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1427

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Keywords: workforce skill; technology adoption;

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References

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  1. Chennells, Lucy & Van Reenen, John, 1997. "Technical Change and Earnings in British Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(256), pages 587-604, November.
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  3. Dunne, Timothy & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1995. "Wages, Employment Structure and Employer Size-Wage Premia: Their Relationship to Advanced-Technology Usage at US Manufacturing Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(245), pages 89-107, February.
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  5. Timothy Dunne & John Haltiwanger & Kenneth R. Troske, 1996. "Technology and Jobs: Secular Changes and Cyclical Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 5656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Nina Pavcnik, 2000. "What Explains Skill Upgrading in Less Developed Countries?," NBER Working Papers 7846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Berndt, Ernst R. & Morrison, Catherine J. & Rosenblum, Larry S., 1992. "High-tech capital formation and labor composition in U.S. manufacturing industries : an exploratory analysis," Working papers 3414-92., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  16. Donald S. Siegel, 1999. "Skill-Biased Technological Change: Evidence from a Firm-Level Survey," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number sbtc.
  17. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1559-1576, December.
  18. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  19. Donald Siegel, 1997. "The Impact Of Computers On Manufacturing Productivity Growth: A Multiple-Indicators, Multiple-Causes Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 68-78, February.
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