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Klaus Prettner (Universität Hohenheim)
Innovation, Automation, and Inequality: Policy Challenges in the Race Against the Machine
Vortragsreihe "WIFO-Extern", 12.7.2019 13:15,
Commentary: Julia Bock-Schappelwein (WIFO)
Veranstalter: Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung
Online seit: 28.06.2019 0:00
We analyse the effects of R&D-driven automation on economic growth, education, and inequality when high-skilled workers are complements to machines and low-skilled workers are substitutes for machines. The model predicts that innovation-driven growth leads to an increasing population share of college graduates, increasing income and wealth inequality, and a declining labour share. We use the model to analyse the effects of redistribution. We show that it is difficult to improve income of low-skilled individuals as long as both technology and education are endogenous. This is true irrespective of whether redistribution is financed by progressive wage taxation or by a robot tax. Only when higher education is stationary, redistribution unambiguously benefits the poor. We show that education subsidies affect the economy differently depending on their mode of funding and that they may actually reduce education. Finally, we extend the model by fair wage concerns and show how automation could induce involuntary low-skilled unemployment.
Forschungsbereich:Industrieökonomie, Innovation und internationaler Wettbewerb