IZA Workshop: Labor Productivity and the Digital Economy

IZA Workshop: Labor Productivity and the Digital Economy
October 30, 2017 - October 31, 2017

We are pleased to invite submissions for the first IZA Workshop on Labor Productivity and the Digital Economy. 

The "digital revolution" means different things to different economic agents. To firms, it represents a way of exploiting new internet and computer-based technologies to increase profitability, consumer satisfaction and efficiency of the workforce. To consumers, it can mean increased convenience of market transactions, expanded information sets, and access to more products at lower prices. To workers, it means new job opportunities in emerging sectors, greater flexibility in how and when to work, and increased information about job opportunities. The digital transformation can also threaten established workflows and the value of many forms of human capital. It may liberate employees from the constraints of the employment relationship but may also rob them of traditional access to social insurance, collective bargaining and employment protection. The digital economy has brought about the creation of new market platforms on which new transactions can be executed, It involves weightless goods which are produced at near zero marginal costs and supplied to the market in radically new ways - either in exchange for users' data or at prices tailored to each individual's willingness to pay. Valuation of these innovations with traditional GDP-accounting-based methods is difficult, which may also help understand the global productivity slowdown. Have we underestimated the impact of these innovations on labor markets? What do these innovations imply for long-run labor productivity, wages, and unemployment? 

The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers analyzing wider labor market impacts of the digital economy, i.e. how these technological changes have directly and indirectly affected the world of work, in particular labor productivity. We encourage submissions of papers that provide good theory or empirical evidence on the following topics: 

  • Effects of digital technologies on the demand for labor and wage structures
  • Digital innovations and job search processes
  • Technical progress over the long run and its labor market effects
  • The uneven adoption of ITC technologies across the OECD and the impact on growth and labor productivity
  • Impact of the platform economy on social security systems and the wage bill as a tax base
Keynote speakers are John Fernald (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and INSEAD) and Vili Lehdonvirta (University of Oxford).
read more