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Policies to Expand Digital Skills for the Machine Age

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  • John P. Martin

Abstract

A new technological epoch is underway – the so-called Machine Age – reflecting advances in artificial intelligence, digitalisation and Big Data. Some commentators have claimed that this epoch is different from previous ones in that it will produce large-scale technological unemployment, while others argue the contrary. Only time will judge who is right on this crucial debate. But the Machine Age will lead to major shifts in the demand and supplies of skills, especially digital skills. In this paper, I review the available cross-country evidence on the distribution of such digital skills across the adult populations within and across a large sample of OECD countries. They have reviewed the evidence on participation rates in adult learning. Finally, the outline how education, training and labour market policies could help expand the supply of digital skills.

Suggested Citation

  • John P. Martin, 2017. "Policies to Expand Digital Skills for the Machine Age," Working Papers id:11688, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:11688
    Note: Institutional Papers
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wiederhold, Simon & Falck, Oliver & Heimisch, Alexandra, 2015. "Returns to ICT Skills," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112803, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Martin, John P., 2016. "Whither Activation Policies? Reflections for the Future," IZA Policy Papers 114, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Melanie Arntz & Terry Gregory & Ulrich Zierahn, 2016. "The Risk of Automation for Jobs in OECD Countries: A Comparative Analysis," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 189, OECD Publishing.
    4. Crépon, Bruno & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2016. "Active Labor Market Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 10321, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Bruno Crépon & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2016. "Active Labor Market Policies," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 521-546, October.
    6. Frey, Carl Benedikt & Osborne, Michael A., 2017. "The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 254-280.
    7. 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.
    8. Joel Mokyr & Chris Vickers & Nicolas L. Ziebarth, 2015. "The History of Technological Anxiety and the Future of Economic Growth: Is This Time Different?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 31-50, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Machine Age; technological unemployment; ICT-literacy/digital skills; adult learning; education and training policies; wage insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • 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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