Labour market
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Productivity & industrial strategy
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Technological change

‘The rise of the robots’ and ‘productivity pessimism’ can’t both be right

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Talk of looming automation, AI and robots is pervasive in public policy chat – including in the government’s new industrial strategy. Almost as common are projections that the weak growth of the past decade is here to stay – including in the latest official economic outlook. Sometimes these assumptions are even mentioned in the same … Continued

Torsten Bell
Labour market
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Cities and regions
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Technological change
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Economic growth

No more robot wars in London

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“The robots are coming to take our jobs”, the Evening Standard told Londoners in December 2016. In case that didn’t depress their readers enough, the article went on to spell out the coming doom: “The sheer pace of change in computational power and grinding efficiencies of automation will alter or eliminate many of our jobs, … Continued

Labour market
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Technological change

Enough of the pessimism about the rise of the robots

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Will all our jobs soon be replaced by robots? Recent headlines suggest so. But historical experience casts doubt on such sensationalism. Indeed there are reasons for us to encourage more automation, rather than worry about the harm it will do. It is common now to hear theories about how new technologies are leading us towards … Continued

Firms
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Productivity & industrial strategy
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Technological change
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Economic growth

Robots will enrich not replace us

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The robots are coming to take our jobs. So says Martin Ford in The Rise of the Robots, the FT/McKinsey business book of the year. Andy Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England, last week warned that 15m jobs in Britain were at risk from automation. Is artificial intelligence about to take over? I am not so sure. Innovation is always … Continued

Jobs
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Labour market
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Skills
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Technological change

Hollowing out – deeper than it sounds

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It’s rare that technical economic concepts make their way out of the halls of academia and into the mainstream. Yet the idea that labour markets in advanced economies are increasingly ‘polarising’ between ‘lovely’ and ‘lousy’ jobs – with middle-of-the-road jobs being ‘hollowed out’ and wage inequality rising as a result – is one that has … Continued

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