Classical Labour-Displacing Technological Change: The Case of the US Insurance Industry
AbstractThe post-war American insurance industry has undergone a profound change in the structure of demand for labour owing to massive mechanisation in the form of both automation and computerisation. This paper finds that the classical dynamic of labour-displacing technological change--as identified by Smith, Ricardo, Babbage, Marx, as well as Keynes and Schumpeter--has been a persistent feature of this sector. Moreover, while the loci of mechanisation initially focused on clerical employment, the drive for further cost reductions in labour-intensive professional activities including accounting, actuarial, insurance agents and underwriting have now become the focus of further mechanisation. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.
Volume (Year): 25 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
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- Andreas Reinstaller & Werner Hölzl, 2001. "The creative response in economic development: the case of information processing technologies in US manufacturing, 1870-1930," Working Papers geewp15, Vienna University of Economics and B.A. Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness.
- Hölzl,Werner & Reinstaller,Andreas, 2003. "The Babbage principle after evolutionary economics," Research Memoranda 016, Maastricht : MERIT, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology.
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