Technology and the Future of Work

A new IMF working paper “uses a DSGE model to simulate the impact of technological change on labor markets and income distribution. It finds that technological advances offers prospects for stronger productivity and growth, but brings risks of increased income polarization. This calls for inclusive policies tailored to country-specific circumstances and preferences, such as investment in human capital to facilitate retooling of low-skilled workers so that they can partake in the gains of technological change, and redistributive policies (such as differentiated income tax cuts) to help reallocate gains. Policies are also needed to facilitate the process of adjustment.”

“Policies can change the impact of technological change. Depending on societies’ preferences for growth versus income equality, governments may want to distribute the gains from technology more evenly. Certain policies, if well designed, could mitigate the trade-off between both objectives. For example, illustrative model simulations show that higher education spending would not only allow low-skilled workers to participate in the gains of technological change, it would also increase output; this holds even when taking into account that higher spending will require higher rates of taxation. More generally, while the use of the tax/benefit system to redistribute the gains from technological advances tends to come with some loss in efficiency, the resulting loss in output tends to be relatively small.”

Posted by at 6:12 PM

Labels: Inclusive Growth


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