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The impact of computers on the employment of clerks and managers

  • Paul Osterman
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    This paper investigates how the increased use of computers affects clerical and managerial employment. The author hypothesizes that the much-discussed displacement effect-computers taking over for clerks-is offset at least in part by complementary effects. For example, computers may increase clerical and managerial employment by lowering unit cost, thus expanding production, and by inducing structural reorganization of the firm. Analyzing new data from a national survey of computer installations by industry, the author finds that the net effect of computers in 1972-78 was to depress the employment of clerks and managers substantially, but that the pattern over time-a larger displacement effect in the first few years, followed by increased clerical and managerial employment-supports the bureaucratic reorganization hypothesis. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 39 (1986)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 175-186

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:39:y:1986:i:2:p:175-186
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