Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Technology and employment. Twelve stylized facts for the digital age

Pianta, Mario (2017): Technology and employment. Twelve stylized facts for the digital age. Forthcoming in: Indian Journal of Labour Economics (2018)

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Abstract

Twelve stylized facts on the relationship between technology and employment are proposed in this paper as a summary of current trends, conceptual issues, methodological approaches and research results. They include the following: 1. Technology is shaped by social relations; 2. Technology saves human labour; technological unemployment is a serious concern; 3. In the digital age the nature and boundaries of work are changing; 4. Different technological strategies have contrasting employment effects; 5. Industries differ in their employment dynamics and role of technology; 6. We can see the employment impact of technology at the firm, industry and macroeconomic levels; 7. Technological change is a disequilibrium process; demand and structural change matter; 8. Business cycles affect technological change and its employment impact; 9. The impact of technology is different across occupations and skills; 10. Labour market conditions are relevant, but employment outcomes are not determined in labour markets alone; 11. In emerging countries employment outcomes are jointly affected by technology and catching up; 12. Technology is an engine of inequality; profits benefit more than wages, wage disparities increase. They have important policy implications in several areas of public action.

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