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The Division of Labour, Worker Organisation, and Technological Change

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  • Borghans, Lex
  • Weel, Bas ter

    (MERIT)

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 & Weel, Bas ter, 2005. "The Division of Labour, Worker Organisation, and Technological Change," Research Memorandum 022, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umamer:2005022
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    Cited by:

    1. Shiyi Chen & Wanlin Liu & Hong Song, 2020. "Broadband Internet, Firm Performance, And Worker Welfare: Evidence And Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 58(3), pages 1146-1166, July.
    2. İ. Akçomak & Lex Borghans & Bas Weel, 2011. "Measuring and Interpreting Trends in the Division of Labour in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(4), pages 435-482, December.
    3. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "Understanding the Technology of Computer Technology Diffusion: Explaining Computer Adoption Patterns and Implications for the Wage Structure," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 17(3-4), pages 37-70, September.
    4. Lyu, Wenjing & Liu, Jin, 2021. "Soft skills, hard skills: What matters most? Evidence from job postings," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 300(C).
    5. Tobias Stucki & Daniel Wochner, 2019. "Technological and organizational capital: Where complementarities exist," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 458-487, June.
    6. Paul J.J. Welfens, 2006. "Grundlagen rationaler Transportpolitik bei Integration," EIIW Discussion paper disbei144, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    7. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks, And Skills," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(5), pages 856-892, November.
    8. Cindy Zoghi & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2007. "Which workers gain upon adopting a computer?," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 40(2), pages 423-444, May.
    9. Hwan-Joo Seo & Young Soo Lee & Jai-Joon Hur & Jin Ki Kim, 2012. "The impact of information and communication technology on skilled labor and organization types," Information Systems Frontiers, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 445-455, April.
    10. Raouf BOUCEKKINE & Patricia, CRIFO & Claudio, MATTALIA, 2007. "Technological Progress, Organizational Change and the Size of the Human Resources Departement," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007047, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    11. R. Antonietti, 2006. "The skill content of technological change. Some conjectures on the role of education and job-training in reducing the timing of new technology adoption," Working Papers 556, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    12. Beckmann, Volker & Irawan, Evi & Wesseler, Justus, 2006. "The Effect of Farm Labor Organization on IPM Adoption: Empirical Evidence from Thailand," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25711, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Nicole Bosch & Bas ter Weel, 2013. "Labour-market outcomes of older workers in the Netherlands: Measuring job prospects using the occupational age structure," CPB Discussion Paper 234.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    14. Semih Akcomak & Henri de Groot & Stefan Groot, 2013. "The impact of trade, offshoring and multinationals on job loss and job finding," CPB Discussion Paper 252.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    15. Fernando Martinez-Plumed & Emilia Gomez Gutierrez & Jose Hernandez-Orallo, 2020. "AI Watch Assessing Technology Readiness Levels for Artificial Intelligence," JRC Working Papers JRC122014, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    16. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," CPB Discussion Paper 269, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    17. Dohmen, T.J. & Falk, A. & Huffman, D. & Marklein, F. & Sunde, U., 2008. "Biased probability judgment: representative evidence for pervasiveness and economic outcomes," ROA Research Memorandum 009, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    18. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "Understanding the Technology of Computer Technology Diffusion: Explaining Computer Adoption Patterns and Implications for the Wage Structure," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 17(3-4), pages 37-70, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour economics ;

    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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