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Small Firms, Contracting-out, Computers and Wage Inequality: Evidence from UK Manufacturing

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  • Haskel, Jonathan

Abstract

What demand-side and institutional factors raised the skilled wage premium over the 1980s in UK manufacturing? Using a panel of 80 industries for 1980–89 we find that: (i) the average skill premium rose by around 13 percentage points; (ii) computer introduction explains around 50% of this rise; (iii) growth in small firms and in contracting-out together explain around 20%; and (iv) the fall in unionisation explains around 15%.

Suggested Citation

  • Haskel, Jonathan, 1996. "Small Firms, Contracting-out, Computers and Wage Inequality: Evidence from UK Manufacturing," CEPR Discussion Papers 1490, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1490
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    Cited by:

    1. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2005. "Foreign outsourcing and firm-level characteristics: Evidence from Japanese manufacturers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 255-271, June.
    2. Rimler, Judit, 2003. "Ecset vagy egér. Mesterségbeli tudás és magas szintű technika
      [Brush or mouse. Occupational capabilities and high technology]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(12), pages 1095-1114.
    3. Liu, Jin-Tan & Tsou, Meng-Wen & Hammitt, James K., 2004. "Computer use and wages: evidence from Taiwan," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 43-51, January.
    4. Kjell G. Salvanes & Svein Erik Førre, 2001. "Job Creation, Heterogeneous Workers and Technical Change: Matched Worker/Plant Data Evidence from Norway," Discussion Papers 304, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    5. Christopher H. Wheeler, 2007. "Industry localisation and earnings inequality: Evidence from U.S. manufacturing," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(1), pages 77-100, March.
    6. Ide Kearney, 1997. "Shifts in the Demand for Skilled Labour in the Irish Manufacturing Sector: 1979-1990," Papers WP083, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    7. Rimler, Judit, 2005. "Számítógép-használat és kreativitás
      [Computer use and creativity]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(12), pages 991-1009.
    8. Paolo Manasse & Luca Stanca, 2002. "Working on the Train: Technology, Trade and Wages in Italian Manufacturing," Working Papers 61, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2002.
    9. Simon C. Parker, 2010. "Contracting Out, Public Policy And Entrepreneurship," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(2), pages 119-144, May.
    10. Wolfgang Franz, 1999. "Real and Monetary Challenges to Wage Policy in Germany at the Turn of the Millennium: Technical Progress, Globalization and European Monetary Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 200, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Indjikian, Rouben & Siegel, Donald S., 2005. "The Impact of Investment in IT on Economic Performance: Implications for Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 681-700, May.
    12. Paola Gritti & Riccardo Leoni, 2013. "The impact on wages of generic competencies, psychological capital, new work practices and digital technologies," Working Papers (2013-) 1301, University of Bergamo, Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods.
    13. Gavin Cameron, 2003. "Why Did UK Manufacturing Productivity Growth Slow Down in the 1970s and Speed Up in the 1980s?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(277), pages 121-141, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Computers; Skill Premia; Small Firms; UK; Wage Inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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