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Do We Need Computer Skills to Use a Computer? Evidence from Britain

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  • Lex Borghans
  • Bas ter Weel

Abstract

Using cross-section data from the 1997 Skills Survey of the Employed British Workforce, we examine the labour-market returns to self-assessed computer skills in Britain. Many researchers, using information on computer technology use, have concluded that wage differentials between computer users and non-users might, among others, be due to differences in the embodiment of computer skills. Using unique information on the importance, level of sophistication, and effectiveness of computer technology use, we show that computer skills do not yield significant labour-market returns for most types of use. Examining the returns to computer skills at different levels of sophistication of use yields estimates suggesting returns to computer skills at the highest level of sophistication of use only. Copyright 2006 The Authors; Journal compilation 2006 CEIS, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel, 2006. "Do We Need Computer Skills to Use a Computer? Evidence from Britain," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(3), pages 505-532, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:20:y:2006:i:3:p:505-532
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    Cited by:

    1. Joaquin Marandino & Phanindra V. Wunnava, 2017. "The Effect of Access to Information and Communication Technology on Household Labor Income: Evidence from One Laptop Per Child in Uruguay," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(3), pages 1-10, September.
    2. Roziah Mohd Rasdi & Thomas N. Garavan & Maimunah Ismail, 2011. "Understanding Proactive Behaviours and Career Success: Evidence from an Emerging Economy," Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies, Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University, vol. 2(2).
    3. Cindy Zoghi & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2007. "Which workers gain upon adopting a computer?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 423-444, May.
    4. Chris N. Sakellariou & Harry A. Patrinos, 2004. "Technology, computers and wages: evidence from a developing economy," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(3-4), pages 543-543.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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