Demographics and Automation

October 24, 2018
By: Daron AcemogluPascual Restrepo
Abstract: We argue theoretically and document empirically that aging leads to greater (industrial) automation, and in particular, to more intensive use and development of robots. Using US data, we document that robots substitute for middle-aged workers (those between the ages of 36 and 55). We then show that demographic change—corresponding to an increasing ratio of older to middle-aged workers—is associated with greater adoption of robots and other automation technologies across countries and with more robotics-related activities across US commuting zones. We also provide evidence of more rapid development of automation technologies in countries undergoing greater demographic change. Our directed technological change model further predicts that the induced adoption of automation technology should be more pronounced in industries that rely more on middle-aged workers and those that present greater opportunities for automation. Both of these predictions receive support from country-industry variation in the adoption of robots. Our model also implies that the productivity implications of aging are ambiguous when technology responds to demographic change, but we should expect productivity to increase and labor share to decline relatively in industries that are most amenable to automation, and this is indeed the pattern we find in the data.
JEL: J11 J23 J24 O33 O47 O57
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24421&r=ltv
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Robot arithmetic: new technology and wages

October 24, 2018
By: Caselli, FrancescoManning, Alan
Abstract: Existing economic models show how new technology can cause large changes in relative wages and inequality. But there are also claims, based largely on verbal expositions, that new technology can harm workers on average or even all workers. This paper shows – under plausible assumptions – that new technology is unlikely to cause wages for all workers to fall and will cause average wages to rise if the prices of investment goods fall relative to consumer goods (a condition supported by the data). We outline how results may change with different assumption s.
JEL: J1
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ehl:lserod:87371&r=ltv

Intergenerational Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution

October 24, 2018
By: Stefanie Stantcheva (Harvard University); Edoardo Teso (Harvard University); Alberto Alesina (Harvard University)
Abstract: Using newly collected cross-country survey and experimental data, we investigate how beliefs about intergenerational mobility affect preferences for redistribution in five countries: France, Italy, Sweden, U.K., and U.S.. Americans are more optimistic than Europeans about intergenerational mobility, and too optimistic relative to actual mobility. Our randomized treatment that shows respondents pessimistic information about mobility increases support for redistribution, mostly for equality of opportunity policies. A strong political polarization exists: Left-wing respondents are more pessimistic about intergenerational mobility, their preferences for redistribution are correlated with their mobility perceptions, and they respond to pessimistic information by increasing support for redistribution. None of these apply to right-wing respondents, possibly because of their extremely negative views of government.
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:red:sed017:1635&r=ltv

Does upward mobility harm trust?

October 24, 2018
By: Rémi Suchon (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne – Groupe d’analyse et de théorie économique – ENS Lyon – École normale supérieure – Lyon – UL2 – Université Lumière – Lyon 2 – UCBL – Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 – Université de Lyon – UJM – Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] – Université de Lyon – CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Marie Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne – Groupe d’analyse et de théorie économique – ENS Lyon – École normale supérieure – Lyon – UL2 – Université Lumière – Lyon 2 – UCBL – Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 – Université de Lyon – UJM – Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] – Université de Lyon – CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
Abstract: While considered as appealing for positive and normative reasons, anecdotal evidence suggests that upward social mobility may harm interpersonal interactions. We report on an experiment testing the effect of upward social mobility on interpersonal trust. Individuals are characterized both by a natural group identity and by a status awarded by means of relative performance in a task in which natural identities strongly predict performance. Upward mobility is characterized by the access to the high status of individuals belonging to the natural group associated with a lower expected performance. We find that socially mobile individuals trust less than those who are not socially mobile, especially when the trustee belongs to the same natural group. In contrast, upward mobility does not affect trustworthiness. We find no evidence that interacting with an upwardly mobile individual impacts trust or trustworthiness.
Keywords: experiment, social identity, trustworthiness, social mobility,Trust
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01687271&r=ltv

Evaluating Intergenerational Persistence of Economic Preferences: A Large Scale Experiment with Families in Bangladesh

October 24, 2018
By: Shyamal ChowdhuryMatthias SutterKlaus F. Zimmermann
Abstract: Economic preferences – like time, risk and social preferences – have been shown to be very influential for real-life outcomes, such as educational achievements, labor market outcomes, or health status. We contribute to the recent literature that has examined how and when economic preferences are formed, putting particular emphasis on the role of intergenerational transmission of economic preferences within families. Our paper is the first to run incentivized experiments with fathers and mothers and their children by drawing on a unique dataset of 1,999 members of Bangladeshi families, including 911 children, aged 6-17 years, and 544 pairs of mothers and fathers. We find a large degree of intergenerational persistence as the economic preferences of mothers and fathers are significantly positively related to their children’s economic preferences. Importantly, we find that socio-economic status of a family has no explanatory power as soon as we control for parents’ economic preferences. A series of robustness checks deals with the role of older siblings, the similarity of parental preferences, and the average preferences within a child’s village.
Keywords: intergenerational transmission of preferences, time preferences, risk preferences, social preferences, children, parents, Bangladesh, socio-economic status, experiment
JEL: C90 D10 D90 D81 D64 J13 J24 J62
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6914&r=ltv

Gender and Peer Effects on Performance in Social Networks

October 24, 2018
By: Julie Beugnot Marie Claire VillevalBernard FortinGuy LacroixMarie Claire Villeval
Abstract: We investigate whether peer effects at work differ by gender and whether gender differences in peer effects -if any- depend on work organization. We develop a social network model with gender heterogeneity that we test in a real-effort laboratory experiment. We compare sequential networks in which information flows from peers to the worker and simultaneous networks where it disseminates bi-directionally. We identify strong gender differences as females disregard their peers’ performance in simultaneous networks, while males are influenced by peers in both networks. Females may perceive the environment in simultaneous networks as being more competitive than in sequential networks.
Keywords: Gender, Peer effects, Social Networks, Work effort, Experiments
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:lvl:crrecr:1803&r=ltv

Unfairness at Work: Well-Being and Quits

October 24, 2018
By: D’Ambrosio, Conchita (University of Luxembourg); Clark, Andrew E. (Paris School of Economics); Barazzetta, Marta (University of Luxembourg)
Abstract: We here consider the effect of the level of income that individuals consider to be fair for the job they do, which we take as measure of comparison income, on both subjective well-being and objective future job quitting. In six waves of German Socio-Economic Panel data, the extent to which own labour income is perceived to be unfair is significantly negatively correlated with subjective well-being, both in terms of cognitive evaluations (life and job satisfaction) and affect (the frequency of feeling happy, sad and angry). Perceived unfairness also translates into objective labour-market behaviour, with current unfair income predicting future job quits.
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11318&r=ltv