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It's Not Just the ATMs: Technology, Firm Strategies, Jobs, and Earnings in Retail Banking

Author

Listed:
  • Larry W. Hunter
  • Annette Bernhardt
  • Katherine L. Hughes
  • Eva Skuratowicz

Abstract

The authors examine trends in job content and earnings in selected jobs in two American banks. Firm restructuring and technological changes resulted in higher earnings for college-educated workers. The banks followed different strategies in implementing these changes for lower-skill jobs, with different effects on bank tellers in particular. The authors conclude that technology enables workplace reform but does not determine its effect on jobs and earnings; these effects are contingent on managerial strategies. This focus on organizational processes and managerial strategy provides a complementary approach to accounts of growing inequality that center solely on the role of individual skills and technological change.

Suggested Citation

  • Larry W. Hunter & Annette Bernhardt & Katherine L. Hughes & Eva Skuratowicz, 2000. "It's Not Just the ATMs: Technology, Firm Strategies, Jobs, and Earnings in Retail Banking," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-31, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:00-31
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    File URL: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/papers/00/0031.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rebecca Demsetz, 1997. "Human resources needs in the evolving financial sector," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 3(Nov).
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    3. Peter Cappelli, 1996. "Technology and skill requirements: implications for establishment wage structures," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 139-156.
    4. 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.
    5. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R. Troske, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-290.
    6. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-361, May.
    7. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
    8. 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.
    9. 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 1333-1381, September.
    10. Larry W. Hunter & Lorin M. Hitt, 2001. "What Makes a High-Performance Workplace? Evidence from Retail Bank Branches," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-30, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    11. John E. DiNardo & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 291-303.
    12. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
    13. Marino Regini & Jim Kitay & Martin Baethge (ed.), 1999. "From Tellers to Sellers: Changing Employment Relations in Banks," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026218193, January.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. ATMs and unemployment – Why Obama has a point
      by Don Arthur in Club Troppo on 2011-06-19 09:51:02

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicholas Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2014. "The Distinct Effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on Firm Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(12), pages 2859-2885, December.
    2. Hervas-Oliver, Jose-Luis & Sempere-Ripoll, Francisca & Boronat-Moll, Carles, 2012. "Process innovation objectives and management complementarities: patterns, drivers, co-adoption and performance effects," MERIT Working Papers 051, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Nicholas Bloom & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Americans Do IT Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 167-201, February.
    4. Takahito Kanamori & Kazuyuki Motohashi, 2006. "Centralization or Decentralization of Decision Rights? Impact on IT Performance of Firms," Discussion papers 06032, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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