#98-02-C
"Opening the Box: Information Technology, Work Practices, and Wages"
Larry W. Hunter and John J. Lafkas, June 1999

Abstract: There is substantial debate about the effects of technological change on wages. We argue that the relationship between technology and wages is context-dependent. To test this proposition, we use data gathered from 303 U.S. bank branches and examine empirically the association between different kinds of information technology (IT), work practices, and wages for the job of customer service representative in bank branches. We also test for interaction effects between IT and work practices. Our results suggest that context sometimes matters: the wage outcomes for IT that automates basic tasks are moderated by high-involvement work practices, while IT that improves the quality of organizational information is related positively to wage outcomes independently of context.

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