What happens when agent T gets a computer?

Borghans, Lex and ter Weel, Bas (2001). What happens when agent T gets a computer?. UNU-MERIT Research Memoranda. UNU-MERIT.

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  • Sub-type Working paper
    Author Borghans, Lex
    ter Weel, Bas
    Title What happens when agent T gets a computer?
    Series Title UNU-MERIT Research Memoranda
    Volume/Issue No. 18
    Publication Date 2001
    Place of Publication Maastricht, NL
    Publisher UNU-MERIT
    Pages 51
    Language eng
    Abstract During the last decade a great many authors have shown that computers have a large impact on skill demand, production processes, and the organization and intensity of work. Analyses have indicated that the rates of change of these variables have been the largest in the more computer- intensive sectors. Empirical findings, however, suggest that the effects of computers on the labor market are complicated and difficult to trace. This paper offers a simple model to explain how computers have changed the labor market. The model demonstrates that wage differentials between computer users and other workers are consistent with the observation that computers are first introduced in high-wage jobs because of cost efficiency. It also shows that neither computer skills nor complementary skills are needed to explain skill upgrading, changes in product characteristics, and the organization and intensity of work. Finally, it is shown that these findings shed a different light on the way computers have changed the labor market and on the changes to be expected following the further diffusion of computers.
    Copyright Holder UNU-MERIT
    Copyright Year 2001
    Copyright type All rights reserved
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