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Innovation, automation, and inequality: Policy challenges in the race against the machine

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  • Prettner, Klaus
  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

The effects of automation on economic growth, education, and inequality are analyzed using an R&D-driven growth model with endogenous education in which high-skilled workers are complements to machines and low-skilled workers are substitutes for machines. The model predicts that automation leads to an increasing share of college graduates, increasing income and wealth inequality, and a declining labor share. We show that standard policy suggestions for the age of automation can trigger unintended side effects on inequality, growth, and welfare, irrespective of whether they are financed by progressive wage taxation or by a robot tax.

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  • Prettner, Klaus & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Innovation, automation, and inequality: Policy challenges in the race against the machine," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 249-265.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:116:y:2020:i:c:p:249-265
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2019.10.012
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    Cited by:

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    2. Krenz, Astrid & Strulik, Holger, 2022. "Automation and the fall and rise of the servant economy," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 431, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
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    7. Stähler, Nikolai, 2021. "The Impact of Aging and Automation on the Macroeconomy and Inequality," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    8. Krenz, Astrid & Prettner, Klaus & Strulik, Holger, 2021. "Robots, reshoring, and the lot of low-skilled workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
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    13. Xiaomeng Zhang & Theodore Palivos & Xiangbo Liu, 2022. "Aging and automation in economies with search frictions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(2), pages 621-642, April.
    14. Tao Tang & Brayan Tillaguango & Rafael Alvarado & Ximena Songor-Jaramillo & Priscila Méndez & Stefania Pinzón, 2022. "Heterogeneity in the Causal Link between FDI, Globalization and Human Capital: New Empirical Evidence Using Threshold Regressions," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(14), pages 1-27, July.
    15. CHIAD, Faycal & Aouissi, Amine & Lahsasna, Ahcene, 2021. "Financial Market Inclusion and Economic Growth: Evidence from Algeria," MPRA Paper 112034, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2021.
    16. Gasteiger, Emanuel & Prettner, Klaus, 2022. "Automation, Stagnation, And The Implications Of A Robot Tax," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 218-249, January.
    17. Kohei Okada, 2020. "Dynamic Analysis of Education, Automation, and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 20-09, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    18. Nikolay Gueorguiev & Mr. Kenji Moriyama & Luis-Felipe Zanna & Ryota Nakatani & Hiroaki Miyamoto & Lahcen Bounader & Mr. Andrew Berg, 2021. "For the Benefit of All: Fiscal Policies and Equity-Efficiency Trade-offs in the Age of Automation," IMF Working Papers 2021/187, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Yixiao ZHOU & Rod TYERS, 2019. "Implications of Automation for Global Migration," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 19-19, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    20. Guimarães, Luís & Mazeda Gil, Pedro, 2022. "Explaining the Labor Share: Automation Vs Labor Market Institutions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    21. Chu, Angus C. & Cozzi, Guido & Furukawa, Yuichi & Liao, Chih-Hsing, 2019. "Effects of Minimum Wage on Automation and Innovation in a Schumpeterian Economy," MPRA Paper 95824, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Arthur Jacobs & Freddy Heylen, 2021. "Demographic change, secular stagnation and inequality: automation as a blessing?," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 21/1030, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    23. Brall, Franziska & Schmid, Ramona, 2020. "Automation, robots and wage inequality in Germany: A decomposition analysis," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 14-2020, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    24. Klarl, Torben, 2022. "Fragile robots, economic growth and convergence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    25. Catarina Peralta & Pedro Mazeda Gil, 2021. "Automation, Education, and Population: Dynamic Effects in an OLG Growth and Fertility Model," CEF.UP Working Papers 2102, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Automation; Education; Innovation-Driven growth; Inequality; Policy responses;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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