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Computerisation and Wage Dispersion: An Analytical Reinterpretation

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  • Bresnahan, Timothy F

Abstract

The rich countries have recently seen a dramatic rise in income inequality, all the more surprising because the long-term trend had been toward equality. This paper examines one of the leading explanations: computerization in the workplace. The author offers a theory of computers' impact on white-collar work which goes far toward explaining the timing, form, and locus of recent labor market changes. The theory looks at the bureaucratic and organizational applications of computers that have been first, largest, and most influential. They have two effects on firms' demand for labor at different skill levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Bresnahan, Timothy F, 1999. "Computerisation and Wage Dispersion: An Analytical Reinterpretation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages 390-415, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:109:y:1999:i:456:p:f390-415
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