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The Media is the Measure: Technical change and employment, 1909-1949

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  • Jon Cohen

    (University of Toronto)

  • Michelle Alexopoulos

    (University of Toronto)

Abstract

New indicators, based on technology titles, are used to measure the impact of innovative activity on the U.S. labor market between 1909 and 1949. We find positive technology shocks raised productivity, employment, vacancies and labor turnover and lowered unemployment. Moreover, innovations in automotive and electrical had a greater positive impact on employment than those in mechanical. The overall results, compatible with the predictions of the real business cycle model, raise questions about the anemic recovery in employment after 1934 since the strong upsurge in technical change failed to be accompanied by an equally vigorous expansion in jobs.

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  • Jon Cohen & Michelle Alexopoulos, 2012. "The Media is the Measure: Technical change and employment, 1909-1949," 2012 Meeting Papers 301, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:301
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    Cited by:

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    2. Manav Raj & Robert Seamans, 2018. "Artificial Intelligence, Labor, Productivity, and the Need for Firm-Level Data," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: An Agenda, pages 553-565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:nbr:nberch:14019 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations

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