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Atlanta Fed Working Papers


The Push-Pull Effects of the Information Technology Boom and Bust: Insight from Matched Employer-Employee Data

Julie L. Hotchkiss, M. Melinda Pitts, and John C. Robertson
Working Paper 2006-1
February 2006

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This paper examines the inflow and outflow of workers to different industries in Georgia during the information technology (IT) boom of the 1990s and the subsequent bust. Workers in the software and computer services industry were much more likely to have been absent from the Georgia workforce prior to the boom but were no more likely than workers from other industries to have exited the workforce during the bust. Consequently, the Georgia workforce likely experienced a net gain in worker human capital as a result of being an area of concentration of IT-producing activity during the IT boom.

JEL classification: J61, R23, R58

Key words: push-pull, migration, information technology, administrative data, profit analysis


The authors thank Chris Cunningham, Sabrina Pabilonia, Kathryn Shaw, and Dan Wilson for their insightful suggestions as well as participants at seminars presented at the University of Colorado-Denver and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. The views expressed here are the authors’ and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System. Any remaining errors are the authors’ responsibility.

Please address questions regarding content to Julie L. Hotchkiss, Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309-4470, julie.l.hotchkiss@atl.frb.org, 404-498-8198; M. Melinda Pitts, Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309-4470, melinda.pitts@atl.frb.org, 404-498-7009; or John C. Robertson, Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309-4470, john.c.robertson@atl.frb.org, 404-498-8782.

For further information, contact the Public Affairs Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309-4470, 404/498-8020.

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