Spotlight on: Are robots really stealing our jobs?
An insurance firm in Japan has made more than 30 employees redundant and replaced them with an artificial intelligence system that can calculate payouts to policyholders. Fukoku Mutual Like Insurance believes it will increase productivity by 30% and see a return on investment in less than two years. According to a report by the Nomura Research Institute, nearly half of all jobs in Japan could be performed by robots by 2035.
Whilst artificial intelligence programs can increasingly replace workers, Richard B. Freeman suggests that workers can benefit by owning part of the capital that replaces them. He writes, “Workers could own shares of the firm, hold stock options, or be paid in part from the profits. Without ownership stakes, workers will become serfs working on behalf of robot overlords.”
Marco Vivarelli is optimistic about technological change in his article Innovation and employment. He writes, “Industrial and innovation policies that support research and product innovation, especially in high-tech sectors, can lead to the emergence of new firms and sectors—and new jobs."
The EU is ambitious when it comes to its climate targets. By 2030, the region wants to cut at least 40% of greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels), achieve a share for renewable energy of at least 27%, and improve energy efficiency by at least 27%. And this is only one stepping stone along its roadmap for a low-carbon economy until 2050, when emissions are supposed to be 80% below the 1990 levels. Continue reading.
Call for applications: 20th IZA Summer School in Labor Economics, May 15-20. The objective of the Summer School is to bring together a large number of PhD students and senior lecturers to study new areas in labor economics. Students have the opportunity to present their work and discuss ideas with established researchers in a relaxed and open atmosphere. Submission deadline is January 15.
Call for applications: 14th Annual Migration Meeting (AM²), May 26-27. Going into its 14th edition this year, the IZA Annual Migration Meeting aims at bringing together new and established migration researchers to discuss their most recent work in a constructive atmosphere. Deadline for submission is January 31.
Call for papers: EALE 29th Annual Conference, September 21-23. EALE are pleased to invite all labor economists to submit papers for presentations at the 29th Annual Conference of the European Association of Labour Economists, held in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Submission deadline is February 1.