All Article Summaries
These article summaries are written by TAP staff members. TAP’s purpose for this section of the site is to present information, points of view, research, and debates.
Automation and the Workforce: A Firm-Level View from the 2019 Annual Business Survey
A survey of thousands of firms helps economists understand the spread of advanced technologies such as robotics. Advanced technologies are often used for automation, and generally improves productivity.
Tasks, Automation, and the Rise in U.S. Wage Inequality
A new model for measuring the effect of technology on the growth of wage inequality is based on the theory that workers displaced by automation will experience a decline in their wage rates relative to other workers.
Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Work
Automation tends to displace human workers, reducing wages by reducing the demand for labor. But automation also increases productivity and creates new-labor intensive tasks. Several factors constrain the labor market’s capacity to adjust, especially if automation proceeds too quickly.
Automation and New Tasks: How Technology Displaces and Reinstates Labor
Technological change affects employment and wages. Automation may reduce the demand for labor in some areas but reinstate it in others. For the past three decades, automation has tended to reduce the demand for labor overall.
Demographics and Automation
Some predict that economic growth will slow in countries with rapidly aging populations. But data shows that firms respond to scarcity of middle-aged workers by automating. These firms become more productive.
A survey of the citation patterns of United States patents from 1975 to 2004 shows that innovation levels in one decade strongly predict innovation levels in the next decade. When there is more past innovation in a technology class, more innovation in related technology classes follows.
Managing Innovation in a Crowd
Crowdsourcing entails calling on the public to work on tasks. Ideally, low-skill workers try the task first, with high-skill workers trying the task only when low-skill workers fail. Workers self-select into this hierarchy if rewards increases each time a worker fails to complete a task.
Competing Engines of Growth: Innovation and Standardization
This paper examines the joint roles that new technologies, and their standardization, play in economic growth.
Intellectual Property Rights Policy, Competition, and Innovation
This paper shows that granting stronger intellectual property rights to technology leaders can increase innovation.
Innovation, Reallocation and Growth
The authors use a model to suggest which sorts of industrial subsidies encourage growth.