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Wage and Productivity Dispersion in United States Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment

  • Timothy Dunne

    (University of Oklahoma)

  • Lucia Foster

    (U.S. Bureau of the Census)

  • John Haltiwanger

    (University of Maryland)

  • Kenneth R. Troske

    (University of Missouri-Columbia)

Using establishment-level data, we shed light on the sources of the changes in the structure of production, wages, and employment that have occurred over recent decades. Our findings are: (1) the between-plant component of wage dispersion is an important and growing part of total wage dispersion; (2) much of the between-plant increase in wage dispersion is within industries; (3) the between-plant measures of wage and productivity dispersion have increased substantially over recent decades; and (4) a significant fraction of the rising dispersion in wages and productivity is accounted for by changes in the distribution of computer investment across plants.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 397-430

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:22:y:2004:i:2:p:397-430
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