The fear of technology-driven unemployment and its empirical base

The fear of technology-driven unemployment and its empirical base

New technologies may replace human labour, but can simultaneously create jobs if workers are needed to use these technologies or if new economic activities emerge. At the same time, technology-driven productivity growth may increase disposable income, stimulating a demand-induced employment expansion. Based on a systematic review of the empirical literature on technological change and its impact on employment published in the past four decades, this column suggests that the empirical support for the labour-creating effects of technological change dominates that for labour-replacement.

The debate as to whether or not technological change replaces more jobs than it creates dates back to […]

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