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Pathways to Adjustment: The Case of Information Technology Workers

  • John Bound
  • Breno Braga
  • Joseph M. Golden
  • Sarah Turner

One long-standing hypothesis about science and engineering labor markets is that the supply of highly skilled workers is likely to be inelastic in the short run. We consider the market for computer scientists and electrical engineers (IT workers) and the evolution of wages and employment through two periods of increased demand. Relative to the boom of the 1970s, the demand shock in the 1990s generated relatively greater changes in employment and smaller changes in wages. The growth in the pool of skilled workers abroad, combined with increased immigration in high-skill fields, is central to this story.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 203-07

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:203-07
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.203
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  1. John Bound & Breno Braga & Joseph M. Golden & Gaurav Khanna, 2012. "Recruitment of Foreigners in the Market for Computer Scientists in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: US High-Skilled Immigration in the Global Economy, pages 187-223 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2008. "The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-005, Harvard Business School.
  3. Richard B. Freeman, 1976. "A cobweb model of the supply and starting salary of new engineers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(2), pages 236-248, January.
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