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Multitasking and Wages

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  • Snower, Dennis J.

    ()
    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

  • Goerlich, Dennis

    ()
    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

Abstract

This paper sheds light on how changes in the organization of work can help to understand increasing wage inequality. We present a theoretical model in which workers with a wider span of competence (higher level of multitasking) earn a wage premium. Since abilities and opportunities to expand the span of competence are distributed unequally among workers across and within education groups, our theory helps to explain (1) rising wage inequality between groups, and (2) rising wage inequality within groups. Under certain assumptions, it also helps to explain (3) the polarization of the income distribution. Using a rich German data set covering a 20-year period from 1986 to 2006, we provide empirical support for our model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7426.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7426

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Keywords: wage inequality; multitasking; tasks; organizational change;

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References

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  1. Sascha O. Becker & Karolina Ekholm & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2009. "Offshoring and the Onshore Composition of Tasks and Skills," IAW Discussion Papers 55, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
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  12. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
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  21. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  22. Gould, Eric D., 2005. "Inequality and ability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 169-189, April.
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  24. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1999. "Multi-Task Learning and the Reorganization of Work. From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," IZA Discussion Papers 39, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Elsayed A.E.A. & Fouarge D. & Grip A. de, 2014. "Job tasks, computer use, and the decreasing part-time pay penalty for women in the UK," Research Memorandum 011, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).

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