Computer use and wage returns: The complementary roles of IT-related human capital and nonroutine tasks

Abstract

The effect of computer use on individual workers is relatively underresearched in the IS literature. Prior studies on computer use usually treat technologies as a “black box” and rarely look into how computers are used in workplaces and why IT-related skills are important there. In this study, we use the data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the data on job requirements for over 12,000 occupations from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), to examine the complementary roles of skill sets and nonroutine tasks in providing computer-use wage returns for individual workers. We find that computer use is associated with increased levels of interactive and numerical skills required for the general workforce. In addition, workers who use computers at work and possess higher levels of interactive skills receive higher wages. We also find that computer use complements performing nonroutine tasks, particularly nonroutine abstract tasks in contributing to the wage premium. As the tasks become increasingly routine, the impact of computer use on wage returns diminishes.

DOI: 10.1145/1929916.1929922

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@article{Dey2011ComputerUA, title={Computer use and wage returns: The complementary roles of IT-related human capital and nonroutine tasks}, author={Debabrata Dey and Ming Fan and Gang Peng}, journal={ACM Trans. Management Inf. Syst.}, year={2011}, volume={2}, pages={6:1-6:21} }