“The Winners and Losers of Technological Change”

On Thursday, February 16th, at 12.30am, the NOVAFRICA Center welcomes Christian Dustmann from University College London to present his work.

Christian Dustmann (University College London)

By matching detailed longitudinal panel data on German firms’ investment in technological and organizational change (T&O) with full work histories of all workers ever employed in these firms, we show that although T&O eliminates some (mainly routine task-based) jobs, the affected workers face no higher probability than unaffected workers of non-employment or lower wage growth. Rather, firms that adopt T&O play an important active role in curtailing its possible harmful effects by offering affected workers training opportunities to upgrade to jobs with more abstract task content. One exception is affected workers over 54 who, instead of upgrading, respond to T&O mostly by moving into non-employment and early retirement irrespective of educational level and tasks performed. Overall, these results paint a more positive picture of T&O’s welfare effects than commonly suggested in the public debate.

Please find further information about this seminar here.