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The returns to computer use revisited: have pencils changed the wage structure too?

DiNardo, John and Pischke, Jorn-Steffen (1997) The returns to computer use revisited: have pencils changed the wage structure too? Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112 (1). pp. 291-303. ISSN 0033-5533

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Abstract

Are the large measured wage differentials for on-the-job computer use a true return to computer skills, or do they just reflect that higher wage workers use computers on their jobs? We examine this issue with three large cross-sectional surveys from Germany. First, we confirm that the estimated wage differential associated with computer use in Germany is very similar to the U. S. differential. Second, we also measure large differentials for on-the-job use of calculators, telephones, pens or pencils, or for those who work while sitting down. We argue that these findings cast some doubt on the literal interpretation of the computer use wage differential as reflecting true returns to computer use or skill.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://qje.oxfordjournals.org/
Additional Information: © 1997 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J0 - General
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Departments > Economics
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2008 11:07
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6152/

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