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Ultra-fast broadband, skill complementarities, gender and wages

Richard Fabling and Arthur Grimes ()

No 19_23, Working Papers from Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

Abstract: We examine whether ultra-fast broadband (UFB) has selective complementarities with certain types of labour. Using longitudinal data on New Zealand firms’ internet connection type (UFB versus other forms of broadband) we find that, following UFB adoption by a firm, the wages of certain skilled incumbent employees rise. This is particularly so for males with STEM qualifications, plus males with university level qualifications (and possibly Masters level female graduates) without STEM qualifications. Wages of male employees without qualifications and of female employees with both lower level and no qualifications tend to fall relative to those in firms that do not adopt UFB. These results are consistent with the existence of skill-biased technical change. More puzzling is why these skill-biased changes have differential effects for incumbent male versus female workers.

Keywords: Broadband; ultra-fast; wages; skill-biased technical change; gender wage gap (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D22 H54 J24 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30 pages
Date: 2019-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ict, nep-lma and nep-tid
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