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The Division of Labour, Worker Organisation, and Technological Change

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  • Borghans, Lex

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

  • ter Weel, Bas

    ()
    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

The model developed in this paper explains differences in the division of labour across firms as a result of computer technology adoption. We find that changes in the division of labour can result both from reduced production time and from improved communication possibilities. The first shifts the division of labour towards a more generic structure, while the latter enhances specialisation. Although there exists heterogeneity, our estimates for a representative sample of Dutch establishments in the period 1990-1996 suggest that productivity gains have been the main determinant for shifts in the division of labour within most firms. These productivity gains have induced skill upgrading, while in firms gaining mainly from improved communication possibilities specialisation increased and skill requirements have fallen.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1709.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal, 2006, 116 (509), F45-F72
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1709

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Keywords: computerisation of the labour market; technological change; division of labour; wage level and structure;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Beckmann, Volker & Irawan, Evi & Wesseler, Justus, 2006. "The Effect of Farm Labor Organization on IPM Adoption: Empirical Evidence from Thailand," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25711, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Kok, Suzanne & ter Weel, Bas, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 8053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Raouf Boucekkine & Patricia Crifo & Claudio Mattalia, 2008. "Technological Progress, Organizational Change and the Size of the Human Resources Department," Working Papers hal-00240715, HAL.
  4. Borghans, Lex & ter Weel, Bas, 2008. "Understanding the Technology of Computer Technology Diffusion: Explaining Computer Adoption Patterns and Implications for the Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 3792, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. İ. Akçomak & Lex Borghans & Bas Weel, 2011. "Measuring and Interpreting Trends in the Division of Labour in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(4), pages 435-482, December.
  6. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," CPB Discussion Paper 269, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  7. R. Antonietti, 2006. "The skill content of technological change. Some conjectures on the role of education and job-training in reducing the timing of new technology adoption," Working Papers 556, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  8. Cindy Zoghi & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2006. "Which Workers Gain Upon Adopting a Computer?," Working Papers 395, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  9. Paul J.J. Welfens, 2006. "Grundlagen rationaler Transportpolitik bei Integration," EIIW Discussion paper disbei144, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.

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