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The Innovation†Employment Nexus: A Critical Survey Of Theory And Empirics

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  • Flavio Calvino
  • Maria Enrica Virgillito

Abstract

Understanding whether technical change is beneficial or detrimental for employment is at the center of the policy debate, especially in phases of economic recession. So far, the effects of innovation – in its manifold declinations and intrinsic complexity – on labor demand have proven to be not unequivocal. This essay critically reviews the role of technical change in shaping employment dynamics at different levels of aggregation. First, it disentangles theoretically the role of different compensation mechanisms through which employment adjusts after an innovation is introduced. Second, it critically presents the most recent empirical evidence on the topic, with a focus on methods and limitations. Finally, it provides an attempt to conceptualize a number of stylized facts and empirical regularities on the innovation†employment nexus.

Suggested Citation

  • Flavio Calvino & Maria Enrica Virgillito, 2018. "The Innovation†Employment Nexus: A Critical Survey Of Theory And Empirics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 83-117, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:32:y:2018:i:1:p:83-117
    DOI: 10.1111/joes.12190
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/joes.12190
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    2. Michael Böheim & Werner Hölzl & Agnes Kügler, 2018. "Wettbewerbs- und regulierungspolitische Herausforderungen der Digitalisierung. Auf dem Weg zu einer "Sozialen Marktwirtschaft 4.0"," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 91(12), pages 871-880, December.
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    4. Guarascio, Dario & Tamagni, Federico, 2019. "Persistence of innovation and patterns of firm growth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1493-1512.
    5. Giovanni Dosi & Mariacristina Piva & Maria Enrica Virgillito & Marco Vivarelli, 2019. "Embodied and disembodied technological change: the sectoral patterns of job-creation and job-destruction," LEM Papers Series 2019/14, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    6. Vivarelli, Marco, 2018. "Globalisation, structural change and innovation in emerging economies: The impact on employment and skills," MERIT Working Papers 2018-037, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Heijs, Joost & Arenas Díaz, Guillermo & Vergara Reyes, Delia Margarita, 2019. "Impact of innovation on employment in quantitative terms: review of empirical literature based on microdata," MPRA Paper 95326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Lucrezia Fanti, 0. "‘Kaldor Facts’ and the decline of Wage Share: An agent based-stock flow consistent model of induced technical change along Classical and Keynesian lines," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-37.
    9. Giovanni Dosi & Mariacristina Piva & Maria Enrica Virgillito & Marco Vivarelli, 2019. "Technology and employment in a vertically connected economy: a model and an empirical test," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Politica Economica dipe0005, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    10. Pietro Santoleri, 2019. "Innovation and job creation in (high-growth) new firms," LEM Papers Series 2019/31, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    11. Bianchini, Stefano & Pellegrino, Gabriele, 2019. "Innovation persistence and employment dynamics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 1171-1186.
    12. Díaz, Guillermo Arenas & Barge-Gil, Andrés & Heijs, Joost, 2020. "The effect of innovation on skilled and unskilled workers during bad times," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 141-158.
    13. Van Roy, Vincent & Vértesy, Dániel & Vivarelli, Marco, 2018. "Technology and employment: Mass unemployment or job creation? Empirical evidence from European patenting firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(9), pages 1762-1776.

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