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Are New Work Practices and New Technologies Biased against Immigrant Workers?

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Author Info

  • Rosholm, Michael

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

  • Roed, Marianne

    ()
    (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

  • Schone, Pal

    ()
    (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

Abstract

New technologies and new work practices have been introduced and implemented over a broad range in the production process in most advanced industrialised countries during the last two decades. New work organisation practices like team organisation and job rotation require interpersonal communication to a larger extent compared to the traditional assembly line types of production. In addition to handling the formal language, communication in this respect includes country-specific skills related to understanding social and cultural codes, unwritten rules, implicit communication, norms etc. In this paper we analyse whether these developments – by increasing the importance of communication and informal human capital – have had a negative effect on employment opportunities of immigrants. The results show that firms that use PCs intensively and firms that give their employees broad autonomy employ fewer non-Western immigrants who have not been raised in Norway (i.e. arrived as adults). Furthermore, the negative relationships are especially strong for low-skilled non-Western immigrants. These results may add support to the hypothesis stating that new technologies and (some) new work practices are biased against non-Western immigrant workers, and especially those with low formal skills.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2135.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2135

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Keywords: immigrants; employment; new work practices; new technology;

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  1. Eve Caroli & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence From A Panel Of British And French Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1449-1492, November.
  2. Stephen Machin, 1995. "Changes in the Relative Demand for Skills in the UK Labour Market," CEP Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE dp0221, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. David McKenzie & Pilar Garcia Martinez & L. Alan Winters, 2008. "Who is Coming from Vanuatu to New Zealand under the New Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Program?," Working Papers in Economics, University of Waikato, Department of Economics 08/09, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  4. Marco Manacorda & Alan Manning & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2006. "The Impact of Immigration on the Structure of Male Wages: Theory and Evidence from Britain," CEP Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE dp0754, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  6. Kjersti-Gro Lindquist & Terje Skjerpen, 2000. "Explaining the change in skill structure of labour demand in Norwegian manufacturing," Discussion Papers, Research Department of Statistics Norway 293, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  7. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  8. Caroli, Eve, 2001. "New technologies, organizational change and the skill bias: what do we know?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University 123456789/10054, Paris Dauphine University.
  9. Ethan Lewis, 2005. "Immigration, skill mix, and the choice of technique," Working Papers 05-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  10. Fan, C. Simon & Wei, Xiangdong & Zhang, Junsen, 2005. ""Soft" Skills, "Hard" Skills, and the Black/White Earnings Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 1804, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Kjell G. Salvanes & Svein Erik F¯rre, 2003. "Effects on Employment of Trade and Technical Change: Evidence from Norway," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(278), pages 293-329, 05.
  12. Pedersen, Peder J. & Smith, Nina, 2001. "Unemployment Traps: Do Financial Disincentives Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 274, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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