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Daniel Susskind
''Re-thinking the capabilities of technology in economics.''
( 2019, Vol. 39 No.1 )
Over the last 15 years, the ‘task-based' approach has become dominant in the economic literature that explores the effects of technological change on the labour market. This approach has tended to rely on a particular understanding of the capabilities of technology -- known as the ‘ALM hypothesis'. However, this has led this literature to severely underestimate these capabilities. Many tasks that were believed to be out of reach of automation can now be automated. In this note I set out two distinct explanations for why these capabilities were underestimated -- one that is explored in the recent literature and maintains the ALM hypothesis, and a new explanation that challenges it. I propose a new hypothesis about the capabilities of technology that contains the ALM hypothesis as a special case.
Keywords: Technological Change, Automation, Tasks.
JEL: J2 - Demand and Supply of Labor: General
J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs: General
Manuscript Received : Oct 30 2018 Manuscript Accepted : Feb 18 2019

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