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Evidence on Wage Inequality, Worker Education and Technology (ICPSR 1314) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The rise in United States wage inequality over the past two decades is commonly associated with an increase in the use of "skill-biased" technologies (e.g., computer equipment) in the workplace, yet relatively few studies have attempted to measure the direct link between the two. This paper explores the relationship among inequality, worker education levels, and workplace computer usage using a sample of 230 United States industries between 1983 and 2002. The results generate two primary conclusions: First, this rising inequality in the United States has been caused predominantly by increasing wage dispersion within industries rather than between industries. Second, within-industry inequality is strongly tied to both the frequency of computer usage among workers and the fraction of total employment with a college degree. Both results lend support to the idea that skill-biased technological change has been an important element in the rise of United States wage inequality.

Access Notes

  • These data are flagged as replication datasets and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

  • These data are freely available.

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Study Description

Citation

Wheeler, Christopher H. Evidence on Wage Inequality, Worker Education and Technology. ICPSR01314-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2005-11-28. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR01314.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Research Division

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   computers, education, employment potential, labor, technological change, technology, wage earners

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1983--2002

Data Collection Notes:

The file submitted is 0505cwpd.zip which contains program and data files, with a README.txt file with a full description.

These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigators if further information is desired.

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