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Power, productivity, and profits

By Frederick Guy and P. Skott


A change in workplace technologies may affect the relative earnings of workers in at least two distinct ways. One is through the market for skill, the other through workers’ power in relation to their employers. Increases in earnings inequality since the late 1970s in many industrial economies — and in particular, in liberal market economies like the US and UK — have been explained by many economists as a consequence of skill-biased technological change (SBTC). However, the evidence cited for SBTC can be read instead as evidence that new technologies affect the distribution of earnings not through supply and demand, but through changes in the relative power of different groups of employees. The reasons for these changes are detailed in Guy (2003) and the implications are analyzed more formally by Guy and Skott (2005) and Skott and Guy (2007)

Topics: man
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2008
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