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Technological Progress and (Un)employment Development

Author

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  • Blien, Uwe

    () (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

  • Ludewig, Oliver

    () (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

Abstract

In recent times the employment effects of technical progress raised much intention. Will recent productivity gains lead to technological unemployment or to a new prosperity? In our paper it is shown formally that under general and standard preconditions the price elasticity of demand on product markets is decisive: Technological progress leads to an expansion of employment if product demand is elastic. It is accompanied, however, by shrinkage of employment if product demand is inelastic. A transition from the elastic into the inelastic range of the demand function for the most important product(s) can already suffice to plunge a region into crisis. In our empirical analysis we use industry level time series data on output, prices, employment and national income for Germany provided by the Federal Statistical Office. We estimate Marshallian type demand functions using an instrumental variables estimator to derive the price elasticities for different industries and link this information to the regional labour market performance of the respective industries and regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Blien, Uwe & Ludewig, Oliver, 2017. "Technological Progress and (Un)employment Development," IZA Discussion Papers 10472, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10472
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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. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    3. Bossler, Mario & Gerner, Hans-Dieter, 2016. "Employment effects of the new German minimum wage : evidence from establishment-level micro data," IAB Discussion Paper 201610, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2015. "Untangling Trade and Technology: Evidence from Local Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(584), pages 621-646, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dauth, Wolfgang, 2014. "Job polarization on local labor markets," IAB Discussion Paper 201418, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Stockinger, Bastian, 2017. "The effect of broadband internet on establishments' employment growth: evidence from Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201719, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour market dynamics; productivity growth; structural change;

    JEL classification:

    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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