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Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles

Author

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  • David Card

    (University of California Berkeley and National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • John E. DiNardo

    (University of Michigan and National Bureau of Economic Research)

Abstract

The recent rise in wage inequality is usually attributed to skill-biased technical change (SBTC), associated with new computer technologies. We review the evidence for this hypothesis, focusing on the implications of SBTC for overall wage inequality and for changes in wage differentials between groups. A key problem for the SBTC hypothesis is that wage inequality stabilized in the 1990s despite continuing advances in computer technology; SBTC also fails to explain the evolution of other dimensions of wage inequality, including the gender and racial wage gaps and the age gradient in the return to education.

Suggested Citation

  • David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:20:y:2002:i:4:p:733-783
    DOI: 10.1086/342055
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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