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Policies to expand digital skills for the machine age

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  • Martin, John P.

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 crosscountry evidence on the distribution of such digital skills across the adult populations within and across a large sample of OECD countries. I also review the evidence on participation rates in adult learning. Finally, I outline how education, training and labour market policies could help expand the supply of digital skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin, John P., 2017. "Policies to expand digital skills for the machine age," GLO Discussion Paper Series 42, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:42
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
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    5. 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.
    6. Martin, John P., 2016. "Whither Activation Policies? Reflections for the Future," IZA Policy Papers 114, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin, John P., 2018. "Live Longer, Work Longer: The Changing Nature of the Labour Market for Older Workers in OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 11510, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Olga Zaborovskaia & Olga Nadezhina & Ekaterina Avduevskaya, 2020. "The Impact of Digitalization on the Formation of Human Capital at the Regional Level," JOItmC, MDPI, vol. 6(4), pages 1-24, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    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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