Information Technology Skills and Labor Market Outcomes for Workers
44 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2011 Last revised: 26 Feb 2018
Date Written: October 10, 2013
This study examines the role of Information Technology (IT) skills in labor market outcomes for workers. We leverage a household IT use survey from an emerging economy (Turkey) between 2007-2015 that captures detailed information on IT skills, IT access, and IT use at the individual worker level. We integrate this information with household labor force survey data on workers’ wages, occupations and industries. Our results show that, on average, IT skills are associated with a higher probability of employment, albeit not significantly associated with wages. However, these relationships vary based on the type of IT skills (basic and advanced), type of occupations (routine versus non-routine), and the demographics of workers (gender and age). Basic IT skills are related to higher employment rates, albeit lower wages. In contrast, advanced IT skills are related to lower employment rates, but higher wages. Advanced IT skills complement occupations with non-routine tasks that cannot be performed by pre-defined rules. We also find that basic IT skills lead to higher full-time and part-time employment probability for female and older workers. Overall, the results indicate that advanced IT skills can be beneficial in securing highly paid jobs, whereas basic IT skills can help finding employment for lower-paid jobs and part-time jobs. The results are robust to multiple alternative specifications and robustness checks. We extend the labor economics and IS literatures by providing evidence on the relationship between different IT skills and labor outcomes for workers across occupations and demographics. We discuss theoretical, managerial, and public policy implications for designing IT training policies to stimulate employment with higher wages for workers by helping them obtain occupation-relevant IT skills.
Keywords: Information Technology (IT), IT skills, IT access, IT use, Employment
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