Computers, Work Organization, and Wage Outcomes

44 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2000 Last revised: 24 Jun 2002

See all articles by Peter Cappelli

Peter Cappelli

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School - Center for Human Resources; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Pennsylvania - Management Department

William Harmon Carter

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 2000

Abstract

We examine two factors frequently thought to be changing the U.S. workplace, high performance work practices and computer use, and their relationships with pay using a national probability sample of U.S. establishments. The analysis controls for both organizational and individual characteristics and finds that higher wages are associated with several practices, particularly computer use and teamwork, for front-line workers who are the targets of most high performance work practices. Not surprisingly, relationships are not as strong for other occupations and are very weak in the non-manufacturing sector. Computer use is a particularly important influence on the wages of managers and supervisors, although it is computer use by their subordinates that is the important factor. The most unusual result may be the consistently negative and significant relationship between wages and job rotation where additional analyses suggest that job rotation in isolation from other high performance practices may proxy lower skill jobs. Some of the positive relationships vanish when various controls for human capital are added, suggesting that those wage premiums are a return to human capital and may be driven by greater skill requirements.

Suggested Citation

Cappelli, Peter and Carter, William Harmon, Computers, Work Organization, and Wage Outcomes (October 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7987. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=247723

Peter Cappelli (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School - Center for Human Resources ( email )

3733 Spruce Street, Vance Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6358
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/faculty/cappelli.html

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department ( email )

The Wharton School
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States

William Harmon Carter

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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