IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwpma/9810004.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Technology and the Demand for Skills

Author

Listed:
  • Edward N. Wolff

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)

Abstract

The U.S. economy has undergone major structural changes since 1950. First, there has been a gradual shift of employment from goods-producing industries to service-providing industries. Second, since the 1970s at least, the availability of new information-based technologies has made possible substantial adjustments in operations and organizational re- structuring of firms. This has been accelerated, in part, by sharply increasing competition from imports. Evidence from industry level case studies indicate that this restructuring is likely to have important consequences for the level and composition of skills required in the U.S. workplace (see Adler, 1986, and Zuboff, 1988). The direction and extent of changes in skill levels over the longer run has, however, been more uncertain, with case studies often finding a deskilling of the content of production jobs and aggregate studies finding little change or at most a gradual upgrading in overall occupation mix (see Spenner, 1988, for a survey of this literature). These trends have considerable policy significance since they help determine education and training needs. One important result of this paper, for example, is that a growing mismatch has been occurring between skill requirements of the workplace and educational attainment of the workforce, with the latter increasing much more rapidly than the former.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Technology and the Demand for Skills," Macroeconomics 9810004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9810004
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 44; figures: included
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/mac/papers/9810/9810004.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1993. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 4255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
    3. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
    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. Skott, Peter, 2005. "Fairness as a source of hysteresis in employment and relative wages," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 305-331, July.
    2. Edward N. Wolff, 2005. "Computerization and Rising Unemployment Duration," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 507-536, Fall.
    3. Xavier Cuadras Morató & Xavier Mateos-Planas, 2006. "Wage inequality and unemployment with overeducation," Economics Working Papers 938, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    4. Piva, Mariacristina & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2005. "The skill bias effect of technological and organisational change: Evidence and policy implications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 141-157, March.
    5. Jorge Saba Arbache, 2001. "Trade Liberalisation and Labor Markets in Developing Countries: Theory and Evidence," Studies in Economics 0112, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    6. Edward N. Wolff, "undated". "Skills, Computerization, and Earnings in the Postwar U.S. Economy," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_331, Levy Economics Institute.
    7. Peter Dolton, 2001. "Over education in the graduate labour market: Some evidence from alumni data," CEE Discussion Papers 0009, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    8. Peter Skott, 2006. "Wage inequality and overeducation in a model with efficiency wages," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 94-123, February.
    9. Skott, Peter & Auerbach, Paul, 2003. "Wage inequality and skill asymmetries," Economics Discussion Papers 2003-7, School of Economics, Kingston University London.
    10. Paul Auerbach & Peter Skott, "undated". "Skill Asymmetries, Increasing Wage Inequality and Unemployment," Economics Working Papers 2000-18, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    11. Soete, Luc & Weel, Bas ter, 1999. "Innovation, Knowledge Creation and Technology Policy in Europe," Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    12. Spitz, Alexandra, 2003. "IT Capital, Job Content and Educational Attainment," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    13. Bruinshoofd, Allard & Weel, Bas ter, 1998. "Skill-biased technical change: On technology and wages in the Netherlands," Research Memorandum 021, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

    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:wpa:wuwpma:9810004. 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: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de .

    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.