Is There a Wage Payoff to Innovative Work Practices?

31 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2004

See all articles by Michael Handel

Michael Handel

Northeastern University--Department of Sociology

Maury Gittleman

Bureau of Labor Statistics

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During the 1980s, wage inequality increased dramatically, and the economy lost many high-wage jobs that had provided middle-class incomes to less skilled workers, increasingly restricting these workers to low-wage jobs lacking union or other institutional protections. A number of scholars have suggested that a new paradigm of work, often called high performance, is emerging that offers such workers more skilled jobs and higher wages. Using a unique national dataset, we find little evidence that practices associated with high-performance work systems are associated with higher wages.

Suggested Citation

Handel, Michael J. and Gittleman, Maury, Is There a Wage Payoff to Innovative Work Practices?. Available at SSRN:

Michael J. Handel (Contact Author)

Northeastern University--Department of Sociology ( email )

500 Holmes Hall
Boston, MA 02115

Maury Gittleman

Bureau of Labor Statistics ( email )

2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Room 4130
Washington, DC 20212
United States

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