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Computers, Wages and Working Hours in Italy

  • Riccardo Lucchetti


    (Università Politecnica delle Marche)

  • Stefano Staffolani


    (Università Politecnica delle Marche)

  • Alessandro Sterlacchini


    (Università Politecnica delle Marche)

In this paper, the relationships between wages, working hours and the use of computers in the workplace are analysed for the Italian labour market. After addressing several econometric issues (mostly overlooked by previous literature) on the appropriate procedure for evaluating computer effects, we found that only for higher-level white collars the wage premium associated with computer usage is substantial; for lower qualifications, the effect vanishes. The use of computers at work increases the number of hours worked, although this effect is small. Moreover, since hourly wages have a negative impact on hours worked, computers seem to exert little, if any, impact on working time.

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Article provided by GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University in its journal Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia.

Volume (Year): 63 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (December)
Pages: 329-353

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Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v63_n3-4_p329-353
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  1. H, Entorf & Michel Gollac & Francis Kramarz, 1997. "New Technologies, Wages and Worker Selection," Working Papers 97-25, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  2. Machin, Stephen, 2001. " The Changing Nature of Labour Demand in the New Economy and Skill-Biased Technology Change," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(0), pages 753-76, Special I.
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  5. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Wage Inequality and the New Economy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 306-323.
  7. Blundell, Richard, et al, 2000. "The Returns to Higher Education in Britain: Evidence from a British Cohort," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages F82-99, February.
  8. 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.
  9. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  10. Riccardo Lucchetti & Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2004. "The Adoption of ICT among SMEs: Evidence from an Italian Survey," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 151-168, 09.
  11. 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.
  12. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
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