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Our most academic publication offers research and surveys on monetary policy, national and international developments, banking, and more. The content is written for an economically informed readership—from the undergraduate student to the PhD.

Vol. 87, No. 3 (Posted 2005-05-01)

Evidence on Wage Inequality, Worker Education and Technology

by Christopher H. Wheeler

This paper looks at a sample of 230 U.S. industries between 1983 and 2002 to see how a worker’s education level and on-the-job use of “skill-based” technology (i.e., computers) relates to wages. The author uncovers two conclusions: Rising U.S. wage inequality has been caused predominantly by increasing wage dispersion within industries rather than between industries. And within-industry inequality is strongly tied to both the frequency of computer usage among workers and the fraction of workers with a college degree.

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