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The impact of computer use on earnings in a developing country: Evidence from Ecuador

  • Oosterbeek, Hessel
  • Ponce, Juan

This paper examines the earnings premium to computer use in a developing country: Ecuador. We use different approaches to examine whether the premium is causal. Controlling for an extensive set of observables, we find an earnings difference between users and non-users of around 20%. Using first differences, the premium drops and is no longer significant in a specification that includes proxies for workers' computer experience and knowledge. Estimates of the impact of the intensity of computer use are also small and in most cases insignificant. Estimates of the pencil premium are substantial in level specifications, but become insignificant in fixed effect specifications. Taken together, also in the setting of a developing country we do not find evidence in favour of the computer premium reflecting a causal impact.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 434-440

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:4:p:434-440
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Choi, K.S., 1993. "Technological Change and Educational Wage Differentials in Korea," Papers 698, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  4. Miller, Paul & Mulvey, Charles, 1997. "Computer Skills and Wages," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(68), pages 106-13, June.
  5. H, Entorf & Michel Gollac & Francis Kramarz, 1997. "New Technologies, Wages and Worker Selection," Working Papers 97-25, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. Chris Sakellariou, 2009. "Endogeneity, computers, language skills and wages among university graduates in Vietnam," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 653-663.
  7. Sakellariou, Chris N. & Patrinos, Harry A., 2003. "Technology, computers, and wages : evidence from a developing economy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3008, The World Bank.
  8. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2007. "Computer usage, destination language proficiency and the earnings of natives and immigrants," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 129-157, June.
  9. Chris Sakellariou, 2003. "Rates of Return to Investments in Formal and Technical/Vocational Education in Singapore," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 73-87.
  10. Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1997. "Returns from computer use: A simple test on the productivity interpretation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 273-277, August.
  11. Drolet, Marie & Morissette, Rene, 1998. "Computers, Fax Machines and Wages in Canada: What Really Matters?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998126e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  12. G. R. Arabsheibani & J. M. Emami & A. Marin, 2004. "The Impact of Computer Use On Earnings in the UK," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(1), pages 82-94, 02.
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