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Information technology and the changing workplace in Canada: firm-level evidence

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  • Saeed Moshiri
  • Wayne Simpson

Abstract

Recent advances in information and communication technology (ICT) have had dramatic effects on both individual and workplace performance. Use of computers and the Internet as general-purpose technologies has spread rapidly across all sectors of the economy, transforming business organization, increasing competition, and fostering innovation. Understanding the influence of ICT on the dynamics of the workplace requires information on both demand and supply sides of the labor market, but it is only recently that the study of both sides of the market has become feasible using linked employer--employee data. In this article, we investigate the effects of new technology on firm productivity using the rich Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey for the period 1999--2003. We apply a mixed regression model which includes both firm and employee characteristics as well as their interactions with computer use. Our model allows us to control for unobserved heterogeneity at higher levels along many dimensions. Our findings indicate that computer use by employees has a positive and significant effect on the productivity of firms that the effect has not lost its momentum, and that spillover effects are not significant. Moreover, human capital enhances the effect of computer use on productivity, but organizational changes do not interact with computer use in our sample period. Copyright 2011 The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Saeed Moshiri & Wayne Simpson, 2011. "Information technology and the changing workplace in Canada: firm-level evidence," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 1601-1636, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:20:y:2011:i:6:p:1601-1636
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/icc/dtr029
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Venturini & Ana Rincon-Aznar & Dr Michela Vecchi, 2013. "ICT as a general purpose technology: spillovers, absorptive capacity and productivity performance," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 416, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    2. Sandulli, Francesco D. & Baker, Paul M.A. & López-Sánchez, José I., 2013. "Can small and medium enterprises benefit from skill-biased technological change?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 1976-1982.
    3. Ana Rincon & Michela VECCHI & Francesco VENTURINI, 2012. "ICT spillovers, absorptive capacity and productivity performance," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 103/2012, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia.
    4. Spyros Arvanitis & Euripidis N. Loukis & Vasiliki Diamantopoulou, 2013. "Are ICT, Workplace Organization and Human Capital Relevant for Innovation?," KOF Working papers 13-333, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    5. Fabio Pieri & Michela Vecchi & Francesco Venturini, 2017. "Modelling the joint impact of R&D and ICT on productivity: A frontier analysis approach," DEM Working Papers 2017/13, Department of Economics and Management.

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