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Monograph "ICT and work: towards new organisational systems, new salary and employment structures, and new mechanisms for intermediation"

Electronic skill-biased technological change (e-SBTC), employment and salaries: the state of the question

Joan Torrent-Sellens (

Professor of the Economic and Business Studies (UOC)

Researcher at IN3


The transformation of employment is one of the main signs of the process of transition from the industrial economy to a global, knowledge-based economy. Despite the relationship between technology and labour being an old and controversial area of discussion in the field of economic and social analysis, work on skill-biased technological change has shown that technology, on its own, is not the only cause of any results in terms of employment. The skills, capacities and competencies of workers, productive and organisational schemata, management decisions, labour relation systems, cultural and institutional settings and public policies are obvious factors for employment, which means that the impact of digital technologies can only be understood in terms of their complex interaction with the social and economic system in which they are applied. It has been proven empirically that the process of introducing digital technology which generates a few well-trained skilled workers, or which can only be used by these, is behind the increase seen in employment and salaries of better qualified workers in a wide range of countries, sectors and companies around the world.


e-skills, information and communication technologies (ICT), knowledge economy, skill-biased organisational change (SBOC), skill-biased technological change (SBTC)

Submission date:  January 2008
Accepted in:  February 2008
Published in:  April 2008

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