by William Echikson (November, 2017)
Over the past two decades, digitalisation has unleashed deep-seated fear among workers for the future of their jobs. Many of our daily activities, from entertainment to shopping, are being transformed. Uber drivers replace taxi drivers, artificial intelligence programmed legal review software replaces lawyers, and robots replace blue-collar manufacturing workers. Some studies predict that digitalisation and robotisation will cause job losses up to 50% of all jobs over the next few decades.
Yet new research argues that such assertions are mere fear-mongering and that in reality the internet is creating more jobs than it destroys – and that these new jobs are better paid and less physically strenuous than their predecessors. Although most studies look at the United States and still need to be ‘Europeanised’, this optimistic view of future work suggests that this technology-fuelled job creation is not limited to tech hubs such as London and Berlin, but is moving quickly into provincial cities and is even reaching into the hinterlands long dominated by traditional industries such as coal, steel and farming.
The internet reduces distances. By allowing access to the world with a few clicks, it lowers barriers to entry and gives provincial and rural dwellers new opportunities to communicate, engage and reach a global market. Thanks to the new sharing economy, it permits immigrant and marginalised populations to re-join the workplace. And finally, digitalisation powers new personalised manufacturing, opening the horizon to repatriating lost factory jobs from Asia to Europe.
The full benefits of the digital transformation only will be achieved if correct policies are implemented. Our key recommendation is to enable, not to try and stop, the digital labour market revolution. Policymakers should resist giving into incumbent interests who want to protect their privileges. If anything, they should speed up the rate of creative destruction in order to raise living standards for all.
by Raoul van Maarseveen (November, 2017)
Recent literature documents the pervasiveness of job polarization in the labor markets of the developed world. However, relatively little is known about polarization on a sub-national level. We exploit extensive data on both genders from Statistics Netherlands to confirm polarization as an important trend in the Dutch national labor market between 1999 and 2012.
Furthermore, our sub-national analysis reveals considerable spatial heterogeneity among local labor markets. The degree of urbanization plays an important role; regions that are initially more urbanized are more likely to exhibit polarization. Finally, using a skill-based approach we report evidence supporting the routinization hypothesis as an important source of polarization.
A study of minimum wage employment in Ireland: the role of worker, household and job characteristics
by Bertrand Maître , Seamus McGuinness , Paul Redmond (November, 2017)
This study examines which workers earn the National Minimum Wage (NMW) in Ireland. The report provides a breakdown of who earns the minimum wage, their backgrounds and the jobs they hold.
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Time and place: 12/12/2017 in Brussels, Belgium
An event organised within the FACTAGE and BEL-ageing projects under the umbrella of CEPS Ageing Societies Programme Europe’s population is ageing fast. A growing range of inequalities can already be detected among the elderly. Mortality rates and health vary across socio-economic groups, affecting their respective earnings potential and the possibility to extend working lives. With increasing labour … Continued
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