Computers, skills and wages

L. Borghans, B.J. ter Weel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Computer technology is most prominently used by skilled, high-wage workers. This suggests that computer use requires skills to take full advantage of the possibilities, which are particularly present among relatively skilled workers. This article develops a simple technology adoption model showing that the decision to adopt computer technology depends on (i) the tasks to be performed, (ii) the level of skill or education and (iii) the level of wages. Applying this model to british data, it is shown that the effect of wages and particular tasks on computer adoption is larger than the effect of skills on adoption. The estimates suggest that in britain computer use is likely to be a matter of cost efficiency and not so much of workers’ skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4607-4622
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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