Technical Change, Learning, and Wages
26 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2010
Date Written: October 1988
This paper examines the relationship between technological change and wages using pooled cross-sectional industry-level data and several alternative indicators of the rate of introduction of new technology. Our main finding is that industries with a high rate of technical change pay higher wages to workers of given age and education, compared to less technologically advanced industries. This is Consistent with the notion that the introduction of new technology creates a demand for learning, that learning is a function of employee ability and effort, and that increases in wages are required to elicit increases in ability and effort. A related finding is that the wages of highly educated workers (especially recent graduates) relative to those of less educated workers are highest in technologically advanced industries; this is consistent with the notion that educated workers are better learners.
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