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Technical Change, Learning, and Wages

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  • Ann P. Bartel
  • Frank R. Lichtenberg

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between technological change and wages using pooled cross-sectional industry-level data and several alternative indicators of the rate of introduction of new technology. Our main finding is that industries with a high rate of technical change pay higher wages to workers of given age and education, compared to less technologically advanced industries. This is Consistent with the notion that the introduction of new technology creates a demand for learning, that learning is a function of employee ability and effort, and that increases in wages are required to elicit increases in ability and effort. A related finding is that the wages of highly educated workers (especially recent graduates) relative to those of less educated workers are highest in technologically advanced industries; this is consistent with the notion that educated workers are better learners.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2732.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2732.

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Date of creation: Oct 1988
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Publication status: published as "The Age of Technology and Its Impact on Employee Wages." From Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Vol. 1, pp. 215-231, (1991).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2732

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  1. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Interindustry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth: A Reexamination," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 241-250 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1988. "Fairness and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 44-49, May.
  3. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
  4. Edward C. Kokkelenberg & Donna R. Sockell, 1985. "Union membership in the United States, 1973รป1981," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(4), pages 497-543, July.
  5. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Connolly, Robert A & Hirsch, Barry T & Hirschey, Mark, 1986. "Union Rent Seeking, Intangible Capital, and Market Value of the Firm," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 567-77, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2012. "Public education spending in a globalized world:," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(5), pages 677-707, October.
  2. Frank R Lichtenberg & Donald Siegel, 1989. "The Effects Of Leveraged Buyouts On Productivity And Related Aspects Of Firm Behavior," Working Papers 89-5, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2011. "Public Education Spending in a Globalized World: Is there a Shift in Priorities Across Educational Stages?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-42, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  4. Stavrev, Emil, 2000. "A Comparative Analysis of the Czech Republic and Hungary. Using small Continuous-Time Macroeconometric Models," Transition Economics Series 19, Institute for Advanced Studies.

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