Automation and the Workforce
Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
- Chair: David Autor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Automation and Jobs: When Technology Boosts Employment
AbstractWill industries use new information technologies to eliminate jobs? Sometimes productivity-enhancing technology increases industry employment instead. In manufacturing, jobs grew along with productivity for a century or more; only later did productivity gains bring declining employment. What changed? Markets became saturated. Using two centuries of data, a simple model of demand accurately explains the rise and fall of employment in the US textile, steel, and automotive industries. The model also predicts that computer technology should generate relatively greater job growth in non-manufacturing industries today. Estimates show computer use is associated with declining employment in manufacturing industries, but not in other sectors.
Individual Consequences of Occupational Decline
AbstractUsing population-level longitudinal data for Sweden 1960-2015, we investigate the consequences of technology-driven occupational decline for individual workers. We focus on technologies which are directly linked to the replacement of narrowly-defined occupations. We compare workers in affected occupations to those with similar characteristics who are not directly affected. We investigate the long-run consequences of exposure to occupational decline for workers’ earnings, labor-force participation, and occupational choice, among other outcomes.
Value Migration and Industry 4.0 in the Auto Industry: Theory, Field Evidence, and Propositions
AbstractOur paper offers several predictions about how Industry 4.0—-the coordinated use of robots, sensors, AI, and other digitally-enabled technologies in manufacturing—-will affect which firms and occupations capture value in manufacturing. We develop our insights using in-depth interviews with manufacturers that are part of the automotive value chain, including parts suppliers and automakers, and with integrators who provide robotics and other advanced automation to manufacturers. Among other findings, we highlight that value migration within firms likely affects whether and how value migration occurs across firms.
University of Toronto
New York University
- O3 - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
- J2 - Demand and Supply of Labor