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Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence

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  • Timothy F. Bresnahan
  • Erik Brynjolfsson
  • Lorin M. Hitt

Abstract

We investigate the hypothesis that the combination of three related innovations—1) information technology (IT), 2) complementary workplace reorganization, and 3) new products and services—constitute a significant skill-biased technical change affecting labor demand in the United States. Using detailed firm-level data, we find evidence of complementarities among all three of these innovations in factor demand and productivity regressions. In addition, firms that adopt these innovations tend to use more skilled labor. The effects of IT on labor demand are greater when IT is combined with the particular organizational investments we identify, highlighting the importance of IT-enabled organizational change.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:1:p:339-376.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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