Yuki, Kazuhiro (2012): Mechanization, task assignment, and inequality.
Download (591kB) | Preview
Mechanization− the replacement by machines of humans engaged in production tasks− is a continuing process since the Industrial Revolution. As a result, humans have shifted to tasks machines cannot perform efficiently. The general trend until about the 1960s is the shift from manual tasks to analytical (cognitive) tasks, while, since the 1970s, because of the advancement of IT technologies, humans have shifted away from routine analytical tasks (such as simple information processing tasks) as well as routine manual tasks toward non-routine analytical tasks and non-routine manual tasks in services. Mechanization also has affected relative demands for workers of different skill levels and thus earnings levels and earnings inequality. The rising inequality has been the norm in economies with lightly regulated labor markets, although the inequality fell in periods when the relative supply of skilled workers grew rapidly.
This paper develops a Ricardian model of task assignment and examines how improvements of productivities of machines and an increase in the relative supply of skilled workers affect task assignment (which factors perform which tasks), earnings, earnings inequality, and aggregate output in order to understand these trends.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Mechanization, task assignment, and inequality|
|Keywords:||mechanization; task assignment; earnings inequality; technical change|
|Subjects:||J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs > J31 - Wage Level and Structure ; Wage Differentials
O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Innovation ; Research and Development ; Technological Change ; Intellectual Property Rights > O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences ; Diffusion Processes
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Demand and Supply of Labor > J24 - Human Capital ; Skills ; Occupational Choice ; Labor Productivity
|Depositing User:||Kazuhiro Yuki|
|Date Deposited:||07. Oct 2012 15:54|
|Last Modified:||13. Oct 2015 02:56|
Acemoglu, D. and D. Autor (2011), ”Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings,” in O. Ashenfelter and D. Card, eds., Handbook of Labor Economics Volume IV, Part B, Amsterdam: Elsevier, Chapter 12, 1043−1171.
Acemoglu, D. and F. Zilibotti (2001), ”Productivity Differences,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 116, 563−606.
Autor, D., F. Levy and R. Murnane (2002), ”Upstairs, Downstairs: Computers and Skills on Two Floors of a Large Bank,” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 55 (3), 432−447.
Autor, D., F. Levy and R. Murnane (2003), ”The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 116 (4).
Autor, D., L. Katz, and M. Kearney (2006), “The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market,” American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 96 (2), 189−194.
Bartel, A., C. Ichniowski, and K. Shaw (2007), ”How Does Information Technology Affect Productivity? Plant-Level Comparisons of Product Innovation, Process Improvement, and Worker Skills,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 122(4), 1721−1758.
Costinot, A. and J. Vogel (2010), “Matching and Inequality in the World Economy,” Journal of Political Economy 118 (4), 747−786.
Feinstein, C. H. (1998), ”Pessimism Perpetuated: Real Wages and the Standard of Living in Britain during and after the Industrial Revolution,” Journal of Economic History 58(3), 625−658.
Givon, D. (2006), ”Factor Replacement versus Factor Substitution, Mechanization and Asymptotic Harrod Neutrality,” mimeo, Hebrew University.
Garicano, L. and E. Rossi-Hansberg (2006), ”Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 121 (4), 1383−1435.
Goldin, C. and L. F. Katz (1998), ”The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 113 (3), 693−732.
Goldin, C. and L. F. Katz (1999), ”The Returns to Skill in the United States across the Twentieth Century,” NBER Working Paper No. 7126.
Goos, M. and A. Manning (2003), “Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain,” LSE Center for Economic Performance Discussion Papers 0604.
Goos, M., A. Manning, and A. Salomons (2010), ”Explaining Job Polarization in Europe: The Roles of Technological Change, Globalization and Institutions,” CEP Discussion Paper 1026.
Grossman, G. M. and E. Rossi-Hansberg (2008), ”Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring,” American Economic Review 98 (5), 1978-97.
Landes, D. (2003), The Unbound Prometheus: Technical Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present (2nd ed.), New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mokyr, J. ed. (1985), The Economics of the Industrial Revolution, Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Allanheld.
Mokyr, J. (1999), ”The Second Industrial Revolution, 1870−1914” in V. Castronovo, ed., Storia dell’economia Mondiale, Rome: Laterza Publishing, pp. 219−245.
OECD (2008), Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries, Paris: OECD.
Peretto, P. and J. Seater (2008), ”Factor-Eliminating Technical Change,” mimeo, Duke University.
Sampson, T. (2011), ”Assignment Reversals: Trade, Skill Allocation and Wage Inequality,” mimeo, Harvard University.
Sattinger, M. (1993), “Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings,” Journal of Economic Literature 31, 831−80.
Zeira, J. (1998), ”Workers, Machines, and Economic Growth,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 113, 1091−1117.
Zeira, J. (2006), ”Machines as Engines of Growth,” mimeo, Hebrew University.
Available Versions of this Item
Mechanization, task assignment, and inequality. (deposited 30. Mar 2012 12:31)
- Mechanization, task assignment, and inequality. (deposited 07. Oct 2012 15:54) [Currently Displayed]