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Skills, Computerization, and Earnings in the Postwar U.S. Economy

  • Edward N. Wolff

Using both time-series and pooled cross-section, time-series data for 44 industries over the period 1947-1997 in the United States, no evidence is found to support the idea that the growth of skills or educational attainment had any statistically significant effect on growth of earnings. On the other hand, earnings growth is found to be positively related to overall productivity growth and equipment investment, while computerization and international trade both had a retardant effect on earnings.

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Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_331.

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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_331
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  1. Steven G. Allen, 1996. "Technology and the Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 5534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  3. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "How Much Has De-Unionisation Contributed to the Rise in Male Earnings Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 3826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Timothy Dunne & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2000. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment," NBER Working Papers 7465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Noel Gaston & Daniel Trefler, 1994. "Protection, Trade, and Wages: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 574-593, July.
  6. Groshen, Erica L, 1991. "Sources of Intra-industry Wage Dispersion: How Much Do Employers Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 869-84, August.
  7. Steven J. Davis, 1992. "Cross-Country Patterns of Change in Relative Wages," NBER Working Papers 4085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, December.
  9. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-68, November.
  10. Johnson, G.E. & Stafford, F.P., 1993. "International Competition and Real Wages," Working Papers 323, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  11. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, Second Edition," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck75-1, December.
  12. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Industrial Wage and Employment Determination in an Open Economy," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 235-259 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Edward E. Leamer, 1992. "Wage Effects of A U.S. - Mexican Free Trade Agreement," NBER Working Papers 3991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "How Computers Have Changed the Wage Structure: Evidence From Microdata, 1984-1989," NBER Working Papers 3858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Wage Dispersion Between and Within U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963-1986," NBER Working Papers 3722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Technology and the Demand for Skills," Macroeconomics 9810004, EconWPA.
  17. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1999. "Technological Change and Wages: An Interindustry Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 285-325, April.
  18. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed The Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213, November.
  19. Edward C. Kokkelenberg & Donna R. Sockell, 1985. "Union membership in the United States, 1973รป1981," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(4), pages 497-543, July.
  20. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson, 1993. "Union Membership and Coverage Files from the Current Population Surveys: Note," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(3), pages 574-578, April.
  21. Timothy Dunne & James A Schmitz Jr., 1992. "Wages, Employer Size-Wage Premia and Employment Structure: Their Relationship to Advanced-Technology Usage at U.S. Manufacturing Establishments," Working Papers 92-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  22. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J & Sanfey, Peter, 1996. "Wages, Profits, and Rent-Sharing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 227-51, February.
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