Do we need computer skills to use a computer? Evidence from Britain

L. Borghans, B.J. ter Weel

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Abstract

Using cross-section data from the 1997 skills survey of the employed british workforce, we examine the labour-market returns to self-assessed computer skills in britain. Many researchers, using information on computer technology use, have concluded that wage differentials between computer users and non-users might, among others, be due to differences in the embodiment of computer skills. Using unique information on the importance, level of sophistication, and effectiveness of computer technology use, we show that computer skills do not yield significant labour-market returns for most types of use. Examining the returns to computer skills at different levels of sophistication of use yields estimates suggesting returns to computer skills at the highest level of sophistication of use only.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-532
Number of pages28
JournalLabour - Review of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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