Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Long Tails, Automation and Labor

Kausik, B.N. (2023): Long Tails, Automation and Labor.

[thumbnail of Long Tails, Automation and Labor.pdf]
Long Tails, Automation and Labor.pdf

Download (427kB) | Preview


A central question in economics is whether automation will displace human labor and diminish standards of living. Whilst prior works typically frame this question as a competition between human labor and machines, we frame it as a competition between human consumers and human suppliers. Specifically, we observe that human needs favor long tail distributions, i.e., a long list of niche items that are substantial in aggregate demand. In turn, the long tails are reflected in the goods and services that fulfill those needs. With this background, we propose a theoretical model of economic activity on a long tail distribution, where innovation in demand for new niche outputs competes with innovation in supply automation for mature outputs. Our model yields analytic expressions and asymptotes for the shares of automation and labor in terms of just four parameters: the rates of innovation in supply and demand, the exponent of the long tail distribution and an initial value. We validate the model via non-linear stochastic regression on historical US economic data with surprising accuracy.

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact us: mpra@ub.uni-muenchen.de

This repository has been built using EPrints software.

MPRA is a RePEc service hosted by Logo of the University Library LMU Munich.