IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Impact of Investments in New Digital Technologies on Wages – Worker-Level Evidence from Germany


  • Genz Sabrina


  • Janser Markus


  • Lehmer Florian

    () (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg, Germany)


The strong rise of digitalization, automation, machine learning and other related new digital technologies has led to an intense debate about their societal impacts. The transitions of occupations and the effects on labor demand and workers’ wages are still open questions. Research projects dealing with this issue often face a lack of data on the usage of new digital technologies. This paper uses a novel linked employer–employee data set that contains detailed information on establishments’ technological upgrading between 2011 and 2016, a recent period of rapid technological progress. Furthermore, we are the first to develop a digital tools index based on the German expert database BERUFENET. The new index contains detailed information on the work equipment that is used by workers. Hence, we observe the degree of digitalization on both the establishment level and the worker level. The data allow us to investigate the impact of technology investments on the wage growth of employees within establishments. Overall, the results from individual level fixed effects estimates suggest that investments in new digital technologies at the establishment level positively affect the wages of the establishments’ workers. Sector-specific results show that investments in new digital technologies increase wages in knowledge intensive production establishments and non-knowledge intensive services. The wage growth effects of employees in digital pioneer establishments relative to the specific reference group of workers in digital latecomer establishments are most pronounced for low- and medium-skilled workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Genz Sabrina & Janser Markus & Lehmer Florian, 2019. "The Impact of Investments in New Digital Technologies on Wages – Worker-Level Evidence from Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 239(3), pages 483-521, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:239:y:2019:i:3:p:483-521:n:5

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Genz, Sabrina & Bellmann, Lutz & Matthes, Britta, 2018. "Do German Works Councils Counter or Foster the Implementation of Digital Technologies?," IZA Discussion Papers 11616, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Janser, Markus, 2018. "The greening of jobs in Germany : First evidence from a text mining based index and employment register data," IAB Discussion Paper 201814, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item


    digital technologies; automation; digital tools; wage growth;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:239:y:2019:i:3:p:483-521:n:5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.