Are computer skills the new basic skills? The returns to computer, writing and math skills in Britain
The large increase in computer use has raised the question whether people have to be taught computer skills before entering the labour market. Using data from the 1997 Skills Survey of the Employed British Workforce, we argue that neither the increase in computer use nor the fact that particularly higher skilled workers use a computer provides evidence that computer skills are valuable. We compare computer skills with writing and math skills and test whether wages vary with computer skills, given the specific use that is made of computers. The regression results show that while the ability to write documents and to carry out mathematical analyses yields significant labour-market returns, the ability to effectively use a computer has no substantial impact on wages. These estimates suggest that writing and math can be regarded as basic skills, but that the higher wages of computer users are unrelated to computer skills.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel, 2011.
"Computers, skills and wages,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(29), pages 4607-4622.
- Borghans,Lex & Weel,Bas,ter, 2001. "Computers, Skills and Wages," Research Memorandum 019, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
- Borghans L. & Weel B. ter, 2001. "Computers, Skills and Wages," ROA Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
- Alan B. Krueger, 1991.
"How Computers Have Changed the Wage Structure: Evidence From Microdata, 1984-1989,"
NBER Working Papers
3858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "How Computers Have Changed the Wage Structure: Evidence from Microdata, 1984–1989," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 33-60.
- H, Entorf & Michel Gollac & Francis Kramarz, 1997.
"New Technologies, Wages and Worker Selection,"
97-25, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
- Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R. Troske, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-290.
- Brian D. Bell, "undated". "Skill-Biased Technical Change and Wages: Evidence from a Longitudinal Data Se," Economics Papers W25., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Borghans,Lex & Weel,Bas,ter, 2002. "Do Older Workers Have More Trouble Using a Computer Than Younger Workers?," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
- John E. DiNardo & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1997.
"The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 291-303.
- Dinardo, J.E. & Pischke, J.S., 1996. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," Working papers 96-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- John E. DiNardo & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," NBER Working Papers 5606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Entorf, Horst & Kramarz, Francis, 1997. "Does unmeasured ability explain the higher wages of new technology workers?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1489-1509, August.
- Chennells, Lucy & Van Reenen, John, 1997. "Technical Change and Earnings in British Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(256), pages 587-604, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:11:y:2004:i:1:p:85-98. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.