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

Listed author(s):
  • 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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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/381255
File Function: main text
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Timothy F. Bresnahan, 1997. "Computerization and Wage Dispersion: An Analytical Reinterpretation," Working Papers 97031, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  2. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2002. "Upstairs, Downstairs: Computers and Skills on Two Floors of a Large Bank," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(3), pages 432-447, April.
  3. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R. Troske, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-290.
  5. Donald Siegel, 1997. "The Impact Of Computers On Manufacturing Productivity Growth: A Multiple-Indicators, Multiple-Causes Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 68-78, February.
  6. Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1459, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Berndt, Ernst R. & Morrison, Catherine J., 1995. "High-tech capital formation and economic performance in U.S. manufacturing industries An exploratory analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-43, January.
  8. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Francesco Caselli, 1999. "Technological Revolutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 78-102, March.
  10. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1995. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9510, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  11. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
  12. Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "How Computers Have Changed the Wage Structure: Evidence From Microdata, 1984-1989," NBER Working Papers 3858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Brynjolfsson, Erik & Hitt, Lorin M., 2004. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," Working papers 4210-01, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  15. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 1994. "Computers and Output Growth Revisited: How Big Is the Puzzle?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 273-334.
  17. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
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