Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/228414
Authors: 
Dillender, Marcus
Forsythe, Eliza C.
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 19-310
Abstract: 
We investigate the impact of computerization of white-collar jobs on wages and employment. Using online job postings from 2007 and 2010-2016 for office and administrative support (OAS) jobs, we show that when firms adopt new software at the job-title level they increase the skills required of job applicants. Furthermore, firms change the task content of such jobs, broadening them to include tasks associated with higher-skill office functions. We aggregate these patterns to the local labor-market level, instrumenting for technology adoption with national measures. We find that a 1 standard deviation increase in OAS technology usages reduces employment in OAS occupations by about 1 percentage point and increases wages for college graduates in OAS jobs by over 3 percent. We find negative wage spillovers, with wages falling for both workers with no college experience and college graduates. These losses are in part driven by high-skill office occupations. These results are consistent with technological adoption inducing a realignment in task assignment across occupations, lending office support occupations to become higher skill and hence less at risk from further automation. In addition, we find that total employment and wages per population increase with technological adoption, indicating average gains from computerization that are unequally distributed across the labor market.
Subjects: 
computerizations
job postings
office and administrative
task content
technology adoption
skill
wages
JEL: 
J23
J24
J31
O33
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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