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Is modern technology responsible for jobless recoveries?

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  • Graetz, Georg
  • Michaels, Guy

Abstract

Since the early 1990s, recoveries from recessions in the US have been plagued by weak employment growth. We investigate whether a similar problem afflicts other developed economies, and whether technology is a culprit. We study recoveries from 71 recessions in 28 industries and 17 countries from 1970-2011. We find that though GDP recovered more slowly after recent recessions, employment did not. Industries that used more routine tasks, and those more exposed to robotization, did not recently experience slower employment recoveries. Finally, middle-skill employment did not recover more slowly after recent recessions, and this pattern was no different in routine-intensive industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Graetz, Georg & Michaels, Guy, 2017. "Is modern technology responsible for jobless recoveries?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68914, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:68914
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David H. Autor & David Dorn, 2013. "The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the US Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1553-1597, August.
    2. repec:tpr:restat:v:100:y:2018:i:5:p:753-768 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Georg Graetz & Guy Michaels, 2018. "Robots at Work," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 753-768, December.
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    1. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:5:p:168-73 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Georg Graetz & Guy Michaels, 2017. "Is Modern Technology Responsible for Jobless Recoveries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 168-173, May.
    3. Teresa C. Fort & Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "New Perspectives on the Decline of US Manufacturing Employment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 47-72, Spring.
    4. McGuinness, Seamus & Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Redmond, Paul, 2019. "Skills-Displacing Technological Change and Its Impact on Jobs: Challenging Technological Alarmism?," IZA Discussion Papers 12541, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Dauth, Wolfgang & Findeisen, Sebastian & S�dekum, Jens & Woessner, Nicole, 2017. "German Robots - The Impact of Industrial Robots on Workers," CEPR Discussion Papers 12306, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:ris:sphecs:0289 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ndubuisi, Gideon & Avenyo, Elvis, 2018. "Estimating the effects of robotization on exports," MERIT Working Papers 046, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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