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The Resurgence in Wage Inequality and Technological Change: A New Approach

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "CBTC" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: HAIFA
postcode: 31905

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Israel [IL]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙495˙091 €
 EC max contribution 1˙495˙091 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-09-01   to  2021-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA IL (HAIFA) coordinator 1˙495˙091.00


 Project objective

Social-science explanations for rising wage inequality have reached a dead end. Most economists argue that computerization has been primarily responsible, while on the other side of the argument are sociologists and political scientists who stress the role of political forces in the evolution process of wages. I would like to use my knowledge and experience to come up with an original theory on the complex dynamics between technology and politics in order to solve two unsettled questions regarding the role of computerization in rising wage inequality: First, how can computerization, which diffused simultaneously in rich countries, explain the divergent inequality trends in Europe and the United States? Second, what are the mechanisms behind the well-known observed positive correlation between computers and earnings? To answer the first question, I develop a new institutional agenda stating that politics, broadly defined, mitigates the effects of technological change on wages by stimulating norms of fair pay and equity. To answer the second question, I propose a truly novel perspective that conceptualizes the earnings advantage that derives from computerization around access to and control of information on the production process. Capitalizing on this new perspective, I develop a new approach to measuring computerization to capture the form of workers’ interaction with computers at work, and build a research strategy for analysing the effect of computerization on wages across countries and workplaces, and over time. This research project challenges the common understanding of technology’s role in producing economic inequality, and would thereby significantly impact all of the abovementioned disciplines, which are debating over the upswing in wage inequality, as well as public policy, which discusses what should be done to confront the resurgence of income inequality.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Tali Kristal, Susanne Edler
Computers meet politics at wage structure: an analysis of the computer wage premium across rich countries
published pages: , ISSN: 1475-1461, DOI: 10.1093/ser/mwz049
Socio-Economic Review 2020-02-24
2019 Tali Kristal
Computerization and the Decline of American Unions: Is Computerization Class-Biased?
published pages: 371-410, ISSN: 0730-8884, DOI: 10.1177/0730888419859927
Work and Occupations 46/4 2020-02-24

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