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Do We Need Computer Skills to Use a Computer? Evidence from Britain

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  • Borghans, Lex

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

  • ter Weel, Bas

    ()
    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

Using data from the 1997 Skills Survey of the Employed British Workforce, we examine the returns to computer skills in Britain. Many researchers, using information on computer use, have concluded that wage differentials between computer users and non-users might, among others, be due to differences in the embodiment of computer skills. Using unique information on the importance, level of sophistication and effectiveness of computer use, we show that computer skills do not yield significant labour market returns for most types of use. Examining the returns to computer skills at different levels of sophistication of use, yields estimates suggesting returns to computer skills at the highest level of sophistication of use only.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 685.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour, 2006, 20 (3), 505-532
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp685

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Keywords: computerization; wage level and structure; wage inequality;

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References

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  1. Entorf, Horst & Gollac, Michel & Kramarz, Francis, 1997. "New Technologies, Wages and Worker Selection," CEPR Discussion Papers 1761, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  11. Borghans,Lex & Weel,Bas,ter, 2002. "Do Older Workers Have More Trouble Using a Computer Than Younger Workers?," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  12. Entorf, Horst & Kramarz, Francis, 1997. "Does unmeasured ability explain the higher wages of new technology workers?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1489-1509, August.
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  14. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
  15. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Cindy Zoghi & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2007. "Which workers gain upon adopting a computer?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 423-444, May.
  2. Chris N. Sakellariou & Harry A. Patrinos, 2004. "Technology, computers and wages: evidence from a developing economy," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(3-4), pages 543.
  3. Roziah Mohd Rasdi & Thomas N. Garavan & Maimunah Ismail, 2011. "Understanding Proactive Behaviours and Career Success: Evidence from an Emerging Economy," Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies, Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University, vol. 2(2).

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