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The Skill Complementarity of Broadband Internet
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2015 (English)In: Quarterly Journal of Economics, ISSN 0033-5533, E-ISSN 1531-4650, Vol. 4, no 130, 1781-1824 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Does adoption of broadband internet in firms enhance labor productivity and increase wages? Is this technological change skill biased or factor neutral? We combine several Norwegian data sets to answer these questions. A public program with limited funding rolled out broadband access points and provides plausibly exogenous variation in the availability and adoption of broadband internet in firms. Our results suggest that broadband internet improves (worsens) the labor market outcomes and productivity of skilled (unskilled) workers. We explore several possible explanations for the skill complementarity of broadband internet. We find suggestive evidence that broadband adoption in firms complements skilled workers in executing nonroutine abstract tasks, and substitutes for unskilled workers in performing routine tasks. Taken together, our findings have important implications for the ongoing policy debate over government investment in broadband infrastructure to encourage productivity and wage growth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 4, no 130, 1781-1824 p.
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124324DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjv028ISI: 000365535400005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-124324DiVA: diva2:884943
Available from: 2015-12-17 Created: 2015-12-17 Last updated: 2016-01-04Bibliographically approved

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Åkerman, Anders
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