Why has Work Effort become more intense? Conjectures and Evidence about Effort-Biased Technical Change and other stories
AbstractI investigate possible explanations for work intensification, using four British data sets. I conjecture that an important source of work intensification is effort-biased technical change (EBTC), which enhances the productivity of high effort workers relative to that of low effort workers. EBTC can be traced to innovations such as Total Quality Management and to information technology, and is linked with multi-skilling. I argue that EBTC is complementary with skill-biased technological change. Additional sources of intensification are the increasing use of intra-firm communication policies, and the declining power of unions. All the above receive empirical support. However, evidence also shows that neither increased teamworking nor, contrary to popular expectations, changing job insecurity has raised average effort levels.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 0003.
Date of creation: May 2000
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
Phone: +44 (0)1227 764000
Fax: +44 (0)1227 827850
Web page: http://www.ukc.ac.uk/economics/
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2000-05-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-INO-2000-05-22 (Innovation)
- NEP-LAB-2000-05-22 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002.
"Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
- Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998.
"Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed The Labor Market?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213, November.
- David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Autor & Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," Working Papers 756, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Bresnahan, Timothy F, 1999.
"Computerisation and Wage Dispersion: An Analytical Reinterpretation,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F390-415, June.
- Timothy F. Bresnahan, 1997. "Computerization and Wage Dispersion: An Analytical Reinterpretation," Working Papers 97031, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Paul Gregg, 1996. "It Takes Two: Employment Polarisation in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0304, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- David George, 1997. "Working Longer Hours: Pressure from the Boss or Pressure from the Marketers?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(1), pages 33-65.
- Green, Francis & McIntosh, Steven, 2001. "The intensification of work in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 291-308, May.
- Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992.
"Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers,"
Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles
92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
- Patricia Tracy Jones & Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2000.
"A Picture of Job Insecurity Facing British Men,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0479, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- A Felstead & D Gallie & F Green, 2000. "Computers are even more important than you thought: An Analysis of the changing skill-intensity of jobs," CEP Discussion Papers dp0439, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Green, Francis & Felstead, Alan & Burchell, Brendan, 2000. " Job Insecurity and the Difficulty of Regaining Employment: An Empirical Study of Unemployment Expectations," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(0), pages 855-83, Special I.
- Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992.
"Peer Pressure and Partnerships,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-17, August.
- John MacDuffie, 1995. "Human resource bundles and manufacturing performance: Organizational logic and flexible production systems in the world auto industry," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 197-221, January.
- Bowles, Samuel, 1985. "The Production Process in a Competitive Economy: Walrasian, Neo-Hobbesian, and Marxian Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 16-36, March.
- Green, Francis, 2000. "The Impact of Company Human Resource Policies on Social Skills: Implications for Training Sponsorship, Quit Rates and Efficiency Wages," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(3), pages 251-72, August.
- Stewart, Mark B, 1995. "Union Wage Differentials in an Era of Declining Unionization," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(2), pages 143-66, May.
- Barzel, Yoram, 1973. "The Determination of Daily Hours and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 220-38, May.
- repec:ese:iserwp:97-21 is not listed on IDEAS
- Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
- Green, Francis & Weisskopf, Thomas E, 1990. "The Worker Discipline Effect: A Disaggregative Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 241-49, May.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
- James B. Rebitzer & Lowell J. Taylor, 1991.
"Do Labor Markets Provide Enough Short Hour Jobs? An Analysis of Work Hours and Work Incentives,"
NBER Working Papers
3883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1995. "Do Labor Markets Provide Enough Short-Hour Jobs? An Analysis of Work Hours and Work Incentives," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 257-73, April.
- Francis Green, 1999. "It's been a hard day's night: The concentration and intensification of work in late 20th century Britain," Studies in Economics 9913, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
- Kochan, Thomas A., 1996. "What works at work : overview and assessment," Working papers 3886-96., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Emma Robinson).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.