This paper analyzes whether technological change improves equality of labor market opportunities by increasing the returns to skills relative to the returns to parental background. We nd that in Germany during the 1990s, the introduction of computer technologies improved the access to technology-adopting occupations for workers with low-educated parents, and reduced their wage penalty within these occupations. We also show that this signicantly contributed to a decline in the overall wage penalty experienced by workers from disadvantaged parental backgrounds over this time period. Competing mechanisms, such as skill-specic labor supply shocks and skill-upgrading, do not explain these ndings.
Arntz, Melanie, Cäcilia Lipowski, Guido Neidhöfer and Ulrich Zierahn-Weilage (2025), Computers as Stepping Stones? Technological Change and Equality of Labor Market Opportunities Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Labor Economics