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The Division of Labour, Worker Organisation, and Technological Change

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  • Borghans, Lex

    (Maastricht University)

  • ter Weel, Bas

    (SEO Amsterdam)

Abstract

The model developed in this paper explains differences in the division of labour across firms as a result of computer technology adoption. We find that changes in the division of labour can result both from reduced production time and from improved communication possibilities. The first shifts the division of labour towards a more generic structure, while the latter enhances specialisation. Although there exists heterogeneity, our estimates for a representative sample of Dutch establishments in the period 1990-1996 suggest that productivity gains have been the main determinant for shifts in the division of labour within most firms. These productivity gains have induced skill upgrading, while in firms gaining mainly from improved communication possibilities specialisation increased and skill requirements have fallen.

Suggested Citation

  • Borghans, Lex & ter Weel, Bas, 2005. "The Division of Labour, Worker Organisation, and Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 1709, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1709
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    computerisation of the labour market; technological change; division of labour; wage level and structure;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • 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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