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Multitasking and Wages

Author

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  • Snower, Dennis J.

    (Hertie School of Governance)

  • Goerlich, Dennis

    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

Abstract

This paper sheds light on how changes in the organization of work can help to understand increasing wage inequality. We present a theoretical model in which workers with a wider span of competence (higher level of multitasking) earn a wage premium. Since abilities and opportunities to expand the span of competence are distributed unequally among workers across and within education groups, our theory helps to explain (1) rising wage inequality between groups, and (2) rising wage inequality within groups. Under certain assumptions, it also helps to explain (3) the polarization of the income distribution. Using a rich German data set covering a 20-year period from 1986 to 2006, we provide empirical support for our model.

Suggested Citation

  • Snower, Dennis J. & Goerlich, Dennis, 2013. "Multitasking and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 7426, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7426
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    Cited by:

    1. Davide Consoli & Giovanni Marin & Francesco Rentocchini & Francesco Vona, 2019. "Routinization, Within-Occupation Task Changes and Long-Run Employment Dynamics," LEM Papers Series 2019/15, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    2. Elsayed, A.E.A. & de Grip, A. & Fouarge, D., 2014. "Job tasks, computer use, and the decreasing part-time pay penalty for women in the UK," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    3. Cindy M. Cunningham & Robert D. Mohr, 2019. "Using tools to distinguish general and occupation-specific skills," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 53(1), pages 1-11, December.
    4. Meir Russ, 2017. "The Trifurcation of the Labor Markets in the Networked, Knowledge-Driven, Global Economy," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 8(2), pages 672-703, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage inequality; multitasking; tasks; organizational change;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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