May 27, 2015

Technological advances could create more jobs, rather than destroying them as previously thought

Technological advances could create more jobs, rather than destroying them as previously thought

Empirical research shows that:

  • Robots and machines will continue to replace workers in some industries
  • Product-generating innovation will create new sectors, new firms, and new jobs
  • Most job creation due to technology will be in the high-tech sector

Recently, there has been much discussion in the media about robots and automated systems replacing humans in the workplace. In a new article, publishing tomorrow on IZA World of Labor, Marco Vivarelli explains how some technological advances can actually create rather than destroy jobs.

The onus lies with policymakers who need to implement market compensation mechanisms that can counteract most, if not all, of the technological unemployment impacts of technological innovation.

Vivarelli warns that government policies must maximize the job creation effect of innovating new products and industries, to minimize the job destroying impact of firms’ efficiency- and cost-saving innovations, including replacing humans with robots.

Marco Vivarelli says: “Innovation can create jobs, but all the efforts should be concentrated in the high-tech sectors; this is food for thought for European policymakers.”

Innovation and employment: Technological unemployment is not inevitable by Marco Vivarelli publishes on Thursday May 28, 2015


IZA World of Labor is a free, online resource created by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in collaboration with Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Articles focus on global labor economics issues, drawing on empirical, evidence-based research in order to offer pertinent comment and evaluation, and best-practice policy advice.

Marco Vivarelli is a Professor of Economics at the Catholic University of Milan, where he is also Director of the Institute of Economic Policy. His research interests include the relationship between technology, employment and skills, and the income distribution impacts of globalization. He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in November 2002.