Ultra-fast broadband, skill complementarities, gender and wages

alina grubnyak 1254790 unsplash lowresUltra-fast broadband   
a flowering of earnings    
for some but not all.    

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.


DOI: doi.org/10.29310/WP.2019.23