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Does Education Really Help?Skill, Work, and Inequality$
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Edward N. Wolff

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195189964

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189964.001.0001

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The Growth of the Information Economy

The Growth of the Information Economy

(p.141) 5 The Growth of the Information Economy
Does Education Really Help?

Edward N. Wolff

Oxford University Press

This chapter documents the growth of information workers in the US economy during the postwar period and analyzes the sources of this expansion. The growth in the information economy is important for two reasons: First, it could be argued to shed additional light on the factors that explain why workplace skills have not kept up with educational attainment and wages have not grown along with skills and education. Second, it has a direct bearing on the educational and training needs of the labor force. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 5.2 updates the statistics on the composition of the workforce between information and noninformation jobs up to 2000. Section 5.3 uses a decomposition analysis to break down the changes in the information workers' share of the labor force into three parts: the substitution of information labor for other types of labor within the production process—that is, the change in the proportion of information workers in each industry's labor force; the change in each industry's share of the economy's total output; and the change associated with relative variations in labor productivity of the different industries.

Keywords:   information workers, information economy, workplace skills, education attainment, wages, labor force

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