Technology and Jobs: Secular Changes and Cyclical Dynamics

77 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 1996 Last revised: 14 May 2000

See all articles by Timothy Dunne

Timothy Dunne

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

John Haltiwanger

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Kenneth R. Troske

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics; University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: July 1996

Abstract

In this paper, we exploit plant-level data for U.S. manufacturing for the 1970s and 1980s to explore the connections between changes in technology and the structure of employment and wages. We focus on the nonproduction labor share (measured alternatively by employment and wages) as the variable of interest. Our main findings are summarized as follows: (i) aggregate changes in the nonproduction of labor share at annual and longer frequencies are dominated by within plant changes; (ii) the distribution of annual within plant changes exhibits a spike at zero, tremendous heterogeneity and fat left and right tails; (iii) within plant secular changes are concentrated in recessions; and (iv) while observable indicators of changes in technology account for a significant fraction of the secular increase in the average nonproduction labor share, unobservable factors account for most of the secular increase, most of the cyclical variation and most of the cross sectional heterogeneity.

Suggested Citation

Dunne, Timothy and Haltiwanger, John C. and Troske, Kenneth R., Technology and Jobs: Secular Changes and Cyclical Dynamics (July 1996). NBER Working Paper No. w5656. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3392

Timothy Dunne

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland ( email )

PO Box 6387
Cleveland, OH 44101-1387
United States

John C. Haltiwanger (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
301-405-3504 (Phone)
301-405-3542 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Kenneth R. Troske

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics ( email )

118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-882-4229 (Phone)
573-882-2697 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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