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Reorganization of Firms and Labour Market Inequality

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  • Lindbeck, Assar
  • Snower, Dennis J.

Abstract

This paper explores the implications of the ongoing reorganization of firms for inequality in the labour market. We show how recent technological advances in physical and human capital can lead to the breakdown of occupational barriers, creating demands for new combinations of skills, and thereby leading to new patterns of wage inequality. Specifically, our analysis indicates how the changes can segment the labour market into an expanding sector of restructured firms where wages are rising, a contracting sector of traditional firms where wages are relatively stagnant, and an expanding pool of the unemployed. The analysis helps explain various significant labour market phenomena, such as: the increased versatility of work; the widening dispersion of wages within occupational, educational, and job tenure groups in the United Kingdom and the United States, accompanied by a narrowing of the male-female wage differentials; the reorganization of firms from task-oriented departments to customer-oriented teams; and the breakdown of occupational barriers.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1996. "Reorganization of Firms and Labour Market Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 1375, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1375
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 997-999, September.
    2. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    3. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1995. "Restructuring Production and Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 1323, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human Capital; Inequality; Information Flows; Organization of Firms; Restructuring; Technological Change; Wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • 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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