11.128 Information Technology and the Labor Market, Spring 2003
Author(s)Levy, Frank, 1941-
Information Technology and the Labor Market
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In this course, we will explore how information technology is reshaping the U.S. labor market: the mix of occupations, the skills required to perform an occupation, the way work is organized, labor productivity, wage levels and wage inequality. We begin from the perspective the brain is a wonderful information-processing instrument, but in those cases where a computer and the brain can process information in roughly the same way the computer can often do it at lower cost. This fact leads to a pair of crosscutting market forces: Information technology is opening up many new opportunities through its complementarity with some human skills. In both existing and new jobs, information technology is replacing human labor in certain tasks by substituting for other human skills. We will explore the current limits on computer's ability to substitute for human skills, discuss the human skills that computers complement,and assess the net effect of these forces on the labor market.
information technology, labor, labor market, market forces, computers, information processing, technological limits, technology, interfaces, human interaction, cognition, brain, productivity, Information technology -- Economic aspects