Why Has Computerization Increased Wage Inequality? Information, Occupational Structural Power, and Wage Inequality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article offers a new account of rising inequality by providing a new explanation for the observed correlation between computerization and earnings. The argument is that as computers transformed work into a more knowledge-intensive activity, occupations located at critical junctions of information flow have gained greater structural power, and thereby higher wages. Combining occupational measures for location in the information flow based on the Occupational Information Network with the 1979–2016 Current Population Surveys, the analyses reveal a rising wage premium for occupations with greater access to and control of information, independent of the spectrum of skills related to computerization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-503
Number of pages38
JournalWork and Occupations
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author wishes to thank Yinon Cohen, Asaf Darr, Ilan Talmud, the editor, and anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and discussions on earlier drafts. Alina Rozenfeld-Kiner provided excellent research assistance. The author would also like to thank Uri Even Ezra who is a constant source of inspiration for his excellent insights.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.

Keywords

  • income inequality
  • labor market outcomes
  • occupations
  • power
  • tasks
  • technology
  • work
  • work organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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