For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Testing the Employment Impact of Automation, Robots and AI: A Survey and Some Methodological Issues"

by Barbieri, Laura; Mussida, Chiara; Piva, Mariacristina; Vivarelli, Marco (2019)


The present technological revolution, characterized by the pervasive and growing presence of robots, automation, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, is going to transform societies and economic systems. However, this is not the first technological revolution humankind has been facing, but it is probably the very first one with such an accelerated diffusion pace involving all the industrial sectors. Studying its mechanisms and consequences (will the world turn into a jobless society or not?), mainly considering the labor market dynamics, is a crucial matter. This paper aims at providing an updated picture of main empirical evidence on the relationship between new technologies and employment both in terms of overall consequences on the number of employees, tasks required, and wage/inequality effect.

Key Passage

The fear of technological unemployment has been accompanying the great innovative waves. However, in the history of humanity, periods of intensive automation have often coincided with the emergence of new jobs, tasks, activities and industries. Indeed, the challenging question is related to the overall sign of the relationship between technological change and labor: is technology labor-friendly or is it labor-threatening? (p.2)


Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Robots, Machine Learning, Technological Revolutions, Technology, Worker Replacement


Employment, Robots, AI and Computerisation, Automation

Links to Reference



How to contribute.