Innovation, structural change and employment: A long term view and some policy implications
|Dates:||5 June 2017|
|Times:||13:00 - 14:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Manchester Institute of Innovation Research|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public|
|Speaker:||Pier Paolo Saviotti|
In this paper I will briefly review some literature on the impact of technology on employment, focusing in particular on the capacity of technology to substitute human labour.
I will stress that there is not a constant quantity of employment but that 'old' employment is continuously destroyed and 'new' employment is continuously created, the latter giving rise to compensation.
Employment and unemployment are then resulting from the balance of displacement and compensation. Several compensation mechanisms have been proposed starting from the industrial revolution.
In this paper, based on joint work on economic development with Andreas Pyka, I will focus on new forms of compensation, mainly on the creation of new sectors leading to increasing variety.
Further compensation mechanisms discussed will be the reduction in working times and the transition to the service economy.
Based on the above it will be proposed that to cope with the present and expected impact of technology on employment will require considerable changes in labour markets, training and education.
At any time the nature of employment can be expected to have to adapt to the evolving structure of the economy, represented by the distribution of competencies amongst incumbent and emerging sectors.
Typically, the previous distinction corresponds to sectors shedding employment and sectors creating employment.
The impact on the economic system can be expected to depend on the speed of structural change.
For low speeds a switch to emerging occupations by new generations can suffice, but above a given speed of structural change retraining during a person's working life will be required.
This will imply the impossibility to have the same job during one's working life, or, the incompatibility of job security and of employment security.
Furthermore, this will involve a switch from protecting jobs to protecting workers and competencies, a redefinition of the labour market as composed by people who work and people who learn and a change in the meaning of social solidarity.
Pier Paolo Saviotti
Organisation: Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Travel and Contact Information
Dover Street Building