IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/unm/umaror/2005005.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Division of Labour, Worker Organisation, and Technological Change

Author

Listed:
  • Borghans,Lex
  • Weel,Bas,ter

    (ROA rm)

Abstract

The model developed in this paper explains differences in the division of labour across firmsas a result of computer technology adoption. We find that changes in the division of labourcan result both from reduced production time and from improved communicationpossibilities. The first shifts the division of labour towards a more generic structure, while thelatter enhances specialisation. Although there exists heterogeneity, our estimates for arepresentative sample of Dutch establishments in the period 1990-1996 suggest thatproductivity gains have been the main determinant for shifts in the division of labour withinmost firms. These productivity gains have induced skill upgrading, while in firms gainingmainly from improved communication possibilities specialisation increased and skillrequirements have fallen.

Suggested Citation

  • Borghans,Lex & Weel,Bas,ter, 2005. "The Division of Labour, Worker Organisation, and Technological Change," ROA Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2005005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://cris.maastrichtuniversity.nl/portal/files/719415/content
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2004. "What's driving the new economy?: the benefits of workplace innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages 97-116, February.
    2. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 299-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 1994. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9595, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    5. Aubert Patrick & Caroli Eve & Roger Muriel, 2005. "New Technologies, Workplace Organisation and the Age Structure of the Workforce: Firm-Level Evidence," Research Unit Working Papers 0505, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
    6. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    7. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 1994. "The Firm as a Communication Network," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 809-839.
    8. 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.
    9. Rosen, Sherwin, 1983. "Specialization and Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 43-49, January.
    10. Sherwin Rosen, 2005. "Substitution And Division Of Labour," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: An Inframarginal Approach To Trade Theory, chapter 3, pages 29-51 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    11. 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.
    12. Irene Bertschek & Ulrich Kaiser, 2004. "Productivity Effects of Organizational Change: Microeconometric Evidence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(3), pages 394-404, March.
    13. Bresnahan, Timothy F, 1999. "Computerisation and Wage Dispersion: An Analytical Reinterpretation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages 390-415, June.
    14. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2003. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 793-808, November.
    15. Borghans, Lex & ter Weel, Bas, 2004. "What happens when agent T gets a computer?: The labor market impact of cost efficient computer adoption," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 137-151, June.
    16. Patrick Aubert & Eve Caroli & Muriel Roger, 2005. "New technologies, workplace organisation and the age structure of the workforce: Firm-level evidence," Working Papers halshs-00590805, HAL.
    17. P. Aubert & E. Caroli & M. Roger, 2004. "New Technologies, Workplace Organisation and the Age Structure of the Workforce: Firm-Level Evidence," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2004-07, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
    18. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-376, July.
    19. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1996. "With What Skills Are Computers a Complement?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 258-262, May.
    20. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw & Giovanna Prennushi, 1995. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
    22. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Borghans,Lex & Weel,Bas,ter, 2002. "Do Older Workers Have More Trouble Using a Computer Than Younger Workers?," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    24. Radner, Roy, 1993. "The Organization of Decentralized Information Processing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1109-1146, September.
    25. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2004. "Experience and Technology Adoption," IZA Discussion Papers 1051, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 17(3-4), pages 37-70, September.
    3. Paul J.J. Welfens, 2006. "Grundlagen rationaler Transportpolitik bei Integration," EIIW Discussion paper disbei144, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    4. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks, And Skills," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(5), pages 856-892, November.
    5. Cindy Zoghi & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2007. "Which workers gain upon adopting a computer?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 423-444, May.
    6. repec:spr:infosf:v:14:y:2012:i:2:d:10.1007_s10796-010-9276-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; training and the labour market;

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2005005. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Leonne Portz). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/romaanl.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.