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Are New Work Practices and New Technologies Biased against Immigrant Workers?

Michael Rosholm (), Marianne Roed () and Pål Schøne ()
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Marianne Roed: Institute for Social Research, Oslo

No 2135, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: New technologies and new work practices have been introduced and implemented over a broad range in the production process in most advanced industrialised countries during the last two decades. New work organisation practices like team organisation and job rotation require interpersonal communication to a larger extent compared to the traditional assembly line types of production. In addition to handling the formal language, communication in this respect includes country-specific skills related to understanding social and cultural codes, unwritten rules, implicit communication, norms etc. In this paper we analyse whether these developments – by increasing the importance of communication and informal human capital – have had a negative effect on employment opportunities of immigrants. The results show that firms that use PCs intensively and firms that give their employees broad autonomy employ fewer non-Western immigrants who have not been raised in Norway (i.e. arrived as adults). Furthermore, the negative relationships are especially strong for low-skilled non-Western immigrants. These results may add support to the hypothesis stating that new technologies and (some) new work practices are biased against non-Western immigrant workers, and especially those with low formal skills.

Keywords: immigrants; employment; new work practices; new technology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J61 J71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm and nep-lab
Date: 2006-05
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Journal Article: Are new work practices and new technologies biased against immigrant workers? (2013) Downloads
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