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How Workers Fare When Employers Innovate

  • Sandra E. Black
  • Lisa Lynch
  • Anya Krivelyova

Complementing existing work on firm organizational structure and productivity, this paper examines the impact of organizational change on workers. We find evidence that employers do appear to compensate at least some of their workers for engaging in high performance workplace practices. We also find a significant association between high performance workplace practices and increased wage inequality. Finally, we examine the relationship between organizational structure and employment changes and find that some practices, such as self-managed teams, are associated with greater employment reductions, while other practices, such as the percentage of workers involved in job rotation, are associated with lower employment reductions.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9569.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Black, Sandra E., Lisa M. Lynch, and Anya Krivelyova. "How Workers Fare When Employers Innovate." Industrial Relations 43, 1 (January 2004): 44-66.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9569
Note: LS
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  1. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 434-445, August.
  2. Sandra E Black & Lisa M Lynch, 2002. "What's Driving the New Economy? The Benefits of Workplace Innovation," Working Papers 02-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. John E. DiNardo & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," NBER Working Papers 5606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology And Changes In Skill Structure: Evidence From Seven Oecd Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244, November.
  6. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  7. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
  9. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-90, February.
  10. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
  11. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1777, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
  13. Krueger, Alan B, 1993. "How Computers Have Changed the Wage Structure: Evidence from Microdata, 1984-1989," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 33-60, February.
  14. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
  15. Kremer, M & Maskin, E, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," Working papers 96-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  16. Casey Ichniowski, 1990. "Human Resource Management Systems and the Performance of U.S. Manufacturing Businesses," NBER Working Papers 3449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How Common is Workplace Transformation and Who Adopts it?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
  18. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  19. Brent Boning & Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2007. "Opportunity Counts: Teams and the Effectiveness of Production Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 613-650.
  20. Peter Cappelli & William H. Carter, 2000. "Computers, Work Organization, and Wage Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Even Caroli & John Van Reenen, 1999. "Organization, skill and technology: evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," IFS Working Papers W99/23, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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