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How to Compete: The Impact of Workplace Practices and Information Technology on Productivity

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  • Sandra E. Black
  • Lisa M. Lynch

Abstract

Using data from a unique nationally representative sample of businesses, the Educational Quality of the Workforce National Employers Survey (EQW-NES), matched with the Bureau of the Census' Longitudinal Research Database (LRD), we examine the impact of workplace practices, information technology and human capital investments on productivity. We estimate an augmented Cobb Douglas production function with both cross section and panel data covering the period of 1987-1993 using both within and GMM estimators. We find that what is associated with higher productivity is not so much whether or not an employer adopts a particular work practice but rather how that work practice is actually implemented within the establishment. We also find that those unionized establishments that have adopted what have been called new or transformed' industrial relations practices that promote joint decision making coupled with incentive based compensation have higher productivity than other similar non-union plants maintain more traditional labor management relations have lower productivity. We also find that the higher the average educational level of production workers or the greater the proportion of non-managerial workers who use computers, the higher is plant productivity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6120.

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Date of creation: Aug 1997
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Publication status: published as Black, Sandra E. and Lisa M. Lynch. "How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity," Review of Economics and Statistics, 2001, v83(3,Aug), 434-445.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6120

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  1. Lisa M. Lynch, 1998. "A Needs Analysis of Training Data: What Do We Want, What Do We Have, Can We Ever Get It?," NBER Chapters, in: Labor Statistics Measurement Issues, pages 405-429 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. Manuel Arellano recibe el premio Jaime I de Economía.
    by Cives in Politikon on 2012-06-05 17:13:35
  2. Can the government get the productivity policy mix right?
    by David Peetz, Professor of Employment Relations at Griffith University in The Conversation on 2013-07-21 20:09:53
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