The Race between Education and Technology Revisited
Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM (PDT)
- Chair: Lawrence Katz, Harvard University
COLLEGE ATTAINMENT, INCOME INEQUALITY, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY: A SIMULATION EXERCISE
AbstractWe simulate the effect that increasing rates of educational attainment -- focusing on associate and bachelor’s degree completion - would have on various measures of U.S. economic security and income inequality. The simulation uses parameter estimates of educational attainment impacts from existing studies and applies them to population data.
Automation, New Tasks, and Inequality
AbstractAutomation, which substitutes capital for labor in tasks previously performed by humans, can increase the demand for skills because the workers specializing in at-risk tasks tend to be lower skill. The creation of new tasks in which humans have a competitive advantage tends to counterbalance the effects of automation by reinstating labor into new activities, but to the extent that more skilled workers are the ones performing new tasks, this may also contribute to a greater demand for skills and higher inequality. We establish that both automation and new task indeed contribute to higher demand for skills. We follow the methodology of Acemoglu and Restrepo (2019) to infer measures of displacement caused by automation and reinstatement generated by new tasks at the industry level and then show that both of these are positively correlated with the wage bill of more skilled workers in these industries. We then discuss what types of technological and organizational changes may help keep the demand for skills and inequality in check.
Structural Increases in Skill Demand after the Great Recession
AbstractThis paper shows that employer demand for education increased markedly during the Great Recession, and has remained persistently higher through 2019. We find the largest increase in education requirements in professional, managerial and technical occupations, and in high-wage cities.
- J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs