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Artificial Intelligence, Income Distribution and Economic Growth

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  • Gries, Thomas
  • Naudé, Wim

Abstract

The economic impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is studied using a (semi) endogenous growth model with two novel features. First, the task approach from labor economics is reformulated and integrated into a growth model. Second, the standard represen- tative household assumption is rejected, so that aggregate demand restrictions can be introduced. With these novel features it is shown that (i) AI automation can decrease the share of labor income no matter the size of the elasticity of substitution between AI and labor, and (ii) when this elasticity is high, AI will unambiguously reduce aggre- gate demand and slow down GDP growth, even in the face of the positive technology shock that AI entails. If the elasticity of substitution is low, then GDP, productivity and wage growth may however still slow down, because the economy will then fail to benefit from the supply-side driven capacity expansion potential that AI can deliver. The model can thus explain why advanced countries tend to experience, despite much AI hype, the simultaneous existence of rather high employment with stagnating wages, productivity, and GDP.

Suggested Citation

  • Gries, Thomas & Naudé, Wim, 2020. "Artificial Intelligence, Income Distribution and Economic Growth," GLO Discussion Paper Series 632, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:632
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    Cited by:

    1. Gries, Thomas & Naudé, Wim, 2021. "Modelling Artificial Intelligence in Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 14171, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Gries, Thomas & Naudé, Wim, 2020. "Extreme Events, Entrepreneurial Start-Ups, and Innovation: Theoretical Conjectures," IZA Discussion Papers 13835, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Gries, Thomas & Naudé, Wim, 2021. "The Race of Man and Machine: Implications of Technology When Abilities and Demand Constraints Matter," IZA Discussion Papers 14341, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Vlačić, Božidar & Corbo, Leonardo & Costa e Silva, Susana & Dabić, Marina, 2021. "The evolving role of artificial intelligence in marketing: A review and research agenda," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 187-203.
    5. Naudé, Wim, 2020. "Industrialization under Medieval Conditions? Global Development after COVID-19," GLO Discussion Paper Series 704, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technology; artificial intelligence; productivity; labor demand; income distribution; growth theory;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution

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