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Updated education curricula and accelerated technology diffusion in the workplace: Micro-evidence on the race between education and technology

Tobias Schultheiss and Uschi Backes-Gellner

No 173, Economics of Education Working Paper Series from University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Abstract: In the race between education and technology, the updating of education curricula with technologies from the research frontier may bring these technologies into the workplace faster. To provide micro-evidence on the technology diffusion effect of curriculum updates, we use two types of text as data: vocational education curricula and firms' job advertisements. To control for the natural spread of new technologies, we draw on long-term patent and publication data. In particular, we examine whether introducing computer-numerical-controlled machinery, computer-aided design or desktop publishing software into vocational education curricula led to an accelerated diffusion of these technologies into jobs, as measured by the mention of these technologies in job advertisements. Exploiting the staggered introduction of new technologies in different occupations as instrument, our results show a direct link between the updating of curricula and a substantial increase in technology use in the workplace, especially in smaller firms that are far from the technology frontier.

JEL-codes: I25 J23 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 52 pages
Date: 2020-06, Revised 2021-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ino, nep-lma and nep-tid
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