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Interindustry wage differentials, technology adoption, and job polarization

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  • Shim, Myungkyu
  • Yang, Hee-Seung

Abstract

Based on observations that high-wage industries in 1980 experienced more evident job polarization between 1980 and 2009, we hypothesize that the persistent structure of interindustry wage differentials leads to heterogeneity in job polarization across industries; as the relative price of ICT capital declines, firms respond to exogenous wage differentials by replacing routine workers with capital. Our empirical analysis shows that, during the last three decades, the annualized growth rate of ICT capital per worker increased by 0.34 percent and that of routine employment decreased by 0.41 percent in the U.S. industries that paid 10 percent higher wages in 1980.

Suggested Citation

  • Shim, Myungkyu & Yang, Hee-Seung, 2018. "Interindustry wage differentials, technology adoption, and job polarization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 141-160.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:141-160
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.11.014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job polarization; Interindustry wage differentials; Endogenous technology adoption;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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