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The Impact Of ICT On The Demand For Skilled Labour: A Cross-Country Comparison

  • Catherine Robinson
  • Mary O'Mahony
  • Michela Vecchi

This paper provides a unique cross-country comparative perspective on the impact of information and communication technology on the demand for skilled labour. It employs panel data for the US, the UK and France, comprising several skill categories for each country for the 1980s and 1990s. The paper considers the issue of whether skill bias is transitory or permanent both by considering changes through time and by dividing the highly skilled into IT specific and other occupations. The results indicate that the impact of technology on the demand for skilled labour is slowing down, at least in the US, supporting a transitory interpretation.

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Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 with number 91.

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Date of creation: 17 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2004:91
Contact details of provider: Postal: Office of the Secretary-General, School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AL, UK
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Web page: http://www.res.org.uk/society/annualconf.asp
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  1. Nicholas Oulton, 2002. "ICT and Productivity Growth in the United Kingdom," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 363-379.
  2. Michael Peneder, 2003. "The Employment of it Personnel," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 184(1), pages 74-85, April.
  3. Acemoglu, D., 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," Working papers 97-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Pierrard, Olivier & Sneessens, Henri R., 2003. "Low-Skilled Unemployment, Biased Technological Shocks and Job Competition," IZA Discussion Papers 784, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Robert Inklaar & Mary O'Mahony & Marcel Timmer, 2005. "ICT AND EUROPE's PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE: INDUSTRY-LEVEL GROWTH ACCOUNT COMPARISONS WITH THE UNITED STATES," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(4), pages 505-536, December.
  6. Ethan Lewis, 2005. "Immigration, skill mix, and the choice of technique," Working Papers 05-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 545, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 14 Feb 2003.
  8. Rebecca Riley & Garry Young, 2007. "Skill heterogeneity and equilibrium unemployment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 702-725, October.
  9. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-76, July.
  10. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The Skill Content Of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1279-1333, November.
  11. Machin, S. & Van Reenen, J., 1997. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," Papers 24, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  12. Steve Machin & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "Educational inequality: the widening socio-economic gap," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 107-128, June.
  13. Falk, Martin & Koebel, Bertrand M., 2004. "The impact of office machinery, and computer capital on the demand for heterogeneous labour," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 99-117, February.
  14. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2000. "The Decline In Demand For Unskilled Labor: An Empirical Analysis Method And Its Application To France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 596-607, November.
  15. Hyunbae Chun, 2003. "Information Technology and the Demand for Educated Workers: Disentangling the Impacts of Adoption versus Use," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 1-8, February.
  16. Caroli, Eve & Van Reenen, John, 1999. "Skill biased organizational change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9917, CEPREMAP.
  17. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1559-1576, December.
  18. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity," NBER Working Papers 5657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
  20. Pierre, Gaelle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2006. "Employment protection: Do firms' perceptions match with legislation?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 328-334, March.
  21. Jian-Ping Zhou, 2006. "Reforming Employment Protection Legislation in France," IMF Working Papers 06/108, International Monetary Fund.
  22. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald & Nicholas Oulton & Sylaja Srinivasan, 2003. "The Case of the Missing Productivity Growth: Or, Does Information Technology Explain why Productivity Accelerated in the US but not the UK?," NBER Working Papers 10010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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