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What (if any) are the returns to computer use?

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Using North American data, we revisit the question first broached by Krueger (1993) and re-examined by DiNardo and Pischke (1997) of whether there exists a real wage differential associated with computer use. Employing a mixed effects model with matched employer-employee data to correct for the fact that workers and workplaces that use computers are self-selected, we find that computer users enjoy an almost 4% wage premium over nonusers. Failure to correct for worker and workplace selection effect leads to a more than twofold overestimate of this premium.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Applied Economics, HEC Montreal, Montreal, Quebec H3T 2A7, Canada 2: Center for Economic Studies, CESifo and University of Munich, Munich, Germany 3: Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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