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The computer evolution

Author

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  • Robert G. Valletta
  • Geoffrey MacDonald

Abstract

In this Economic Letter, we use data from five special surveys, covering the period 1984-2001, to examine two key aspects of the computer evolution: the spread of PCs at work and the evolving wage differentials between individuals who use them and those who do not. Although the spread of computers has been relatively uniform across labor force groups, the wage returns associated with computers tilted sharply in favor of the highly educated at the end of our sample frame. This finding appears consistent with the increase in trend productivity growth that occurred around the same time.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert G. Valletta & Geoffrey MacDonald, 2004. "The computer evolution," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue jul23.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfel:y:2004:i:jul23:n:2004-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    2. Oliner, Stephen D. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2003. "Information technology and productivity: where are we now and where are we going?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 477-503, July.
    3. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fairlie, Robert W., 2005. "The effects of home computers on school enrollment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 533-547, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Computers ; Wages;

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