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The impact of ICT on the demand for skilled labour: A cross-country comparison

  • O'Mahony, Mary
  • Robinson, Catherine
  • Vecchi, Michela

This paper provides a unique cross-country comparative perspective on the impact of information and communication technology on the demand for skilled labour. It employs panel data for the US, the UK and France, comprising several skill categories for each country for the 1980s and 1990s. The paper considers the issue of whether skill bias is transitory or permanent both by considering changes through time and by dividing the highly skilled into IT specific and other occupations. The results indicate that the impact of technology on the demand for skilled labour is slowing down, at least in the US, supporting a transitory interpretation.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1435-1450

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:15:y:2008:i:6:p:1435-1450
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  1. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and changes in skill structure: evidence from seven OECD countries," IFS Working Papers W98/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Michael Peneder, 2003. "The Employment of it Personnel," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 184(1), pages 74-85, April.
  3. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2001. "Information technology and the U.S. productivity revival: what do the industry data say?," Staff Reports 115, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Acemoglu, D., 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," Working papers 97-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-76, July.
  6. Ethan Lewis, 2005. "Immigration, skill mix, and the choice of technique," Working Papers 05-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Falk, Martin & Koebel, Bertrand M., 2004. "The impact of office machinery, and computer capital on the demand for heterogeneous labour," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 99-117, February.
  8. Nicholas Oulton, 2002. "ICT and Productivity Growth in the United Kingdom," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 363-379.
  9. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity," NBER Working Papers 5657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald & Nicholas Oulton & Sylaja Srinivasan, 2003. "The Case of the Missing Productivity Growth: Or, Does Information Technology Explain why Productivity Accelerated in the US but not the UK?," NBER Working Papers 10010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 1998. "The Decline in Demand for Unskilled Labor : An Empirical Analysis Method and its Application to France," Working Papers 98-53, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  12. Steve Machin & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "Educational inequality: the widening socio-economic gap," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 107-128, June.
  13. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
  14. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," North American Stata Users' Group Meetings 2003 05, Stata Users Group.
  15. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Eve Caroli & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence From A Panel Of British And French Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1449-1492, November.
  17. Rebecca Riley & Garry Young, 2007. "Skill heterogeneity and equilibrium unemployment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 702-725, October.
  18. Pierre, Gaelle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2006. "Employment protection: Do firms' perceptions match with legislation?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 328-334, March.
  19. Olivier, Pierrard & Henri R., Sneessens, 2002. "Low-Skilled Unemployment, Biased Technological Shocks and Job Competition," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2003014, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 03 May 2002.
  20. Robert Inklaar & Mary O'Mahony & Marcel Timmer, 2005. "ICT AND EUROPE's PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE: INDUSTRY-LEVEL GROWTH ACCOUNT COMPARISONS WITH THE UNITED STATES," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(4), pages 505-536, December.
  21. Hyunbae Chun, 2003. "Information Technology and the Demand for Educated Workers: Disentangling the Impacts of Adoption versus Use," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 1-8, February.
  22. Jian-Ping Zhou, 2006. "Reforming Employment Protection Legislation in France," IMF Working Papers 06/108, International Monetary Fund.
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