Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Robot arithmetic: can new technology harm all workers or the average worker?

Caselli, Francesco and Manning, Alan ORCID: 0000-0002-7884-3580 (2017) Robot arithmetic: can new technology harm all workers or the average worker? CEP Discussion Papers (CEPDP1497). London School of Economics and Political Science. Centre for Economic Performance, London, UK.

Text - Published Version
Download (266kB) | Preview


It is well-established that new technology can cause large changes in relative wages and inequality. But there are also claims, based largely on verbal expositions, that new technology will harm workers on average or even all workers. Using formal models (which impose logical consistency and clear links between assumptions and conclusions) we show – under plausible assumptions - that new technology will cause average wages to rise if the prices of investment goods fall relative to consumer goods (a condition supported by the data) and if the new technologies do not lead to a fall in market competition. Some groups of workers must gain but others may be harmed. However, if workers can freely choose their occupation, or redistribution among workers is possible, all workers can gain

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs > J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials by Skill, Training, Occupation, etc.
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2018 14:46
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:42
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics