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The Law-Technology Cycle & the Future of Work

Author

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  • Simon Deakin
  • Christopher Markou
  • Centre for Business Research

Abstract

Features of the 'fourth industrial revolution', such as platforms, AI and machine learning, pose challenges for the application of regulatory rules, in the area of labour law as elsewhere. However, today's digital technologies have their origins in earlier phases of industrialisation, and do not, in themselves, mark a step change in the evolution of capitalism, which was, and is, characterised by successive waves of creative destruction. The law does not simply respond to technological change; it also facilitates and mediates it. Digitalisation, by permitting the appropriation of collective knowledge, has the capacity to undermine existing forms of regulation, while creating the space for new ones. It may erode the position of some professions while enabling others, complementary to new technologies, to emerge. It is unlikely to bring about the redundancy of forms of labour law regulation centred on the employment relationship. We appear to reaching a point in the law-technology cycle where push-back against regulatory arbitrage can be expected.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Deakin & Christopher Markou & Centre for Business Research, 2018. "The Law-Technology Cycle & the Future of Work," Working Papers wp504, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp504
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    File URL: https://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/centre-for-business-research/downloads/working-papers/wp504.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Deakin, Simon & Wilkinson, Frank, 2005. "The Law of the Labour Market: Industrialization, Employment, and Legal Evolution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198152811.
    2. David H. Autor, 2015. "Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The History and Future of Workplace Automation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
    3. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernhard Reinsberg & Centre for Business Research, 2018. "Blockchain Technology and the Governance of Foreign Aid," Working Papers wp505, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gig economy; digitalisation; future of work; labour law; law and technology; Uber;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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