The Returns to General versus Job-Specific Skills: the Role of Information and Communication Technology

Publication date: 30 Jun 2006 | Publication type: NIESR Discussion Paper | Theme: Trade, Investment & Productivity, Employment & Social policy | NIESR Author(s): Kirby, S; Riley, R | NIESR Discussion Paper Number: 274

This paper examines the effect of information and communication technologies (ICT) on the return paid to two different types of skill: general skills, acquired through schooling and work experience, and job-specific skills, acquired by experience in a particular job. Using the UK Labour Force Survey we estimate skill returns in different industries over the period 1994-2001. We evaluate the marginal effect on these returns of the ICT intensity of industry capital and find that the shift towards ICT capital has been associated with a rise in the return to general skills and a reduction in the return to job-specific experience.

Keyword tags: 
skill-biased technical change, human capital