Technological Change and Employment: Were Ricardo and Marx Right?

36 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2017

See all articles by Mariacristina Piva

Mariacristina Piva

Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Marco Vivarelli

Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: January 2017

Abstract

The aim of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, the economic insights about the employment impact of technological change are disentangled starting from the classical economists to nowadays theoretical and empirical analyses. On the other hand, an empirical test is provided; in particular, longitudinal data – covering manufacturing and service sectors over the 1998-2011 period for 11 European countries – are used to run GMM-SYS and LSDVC estimates. Two are the main results: 1) a significant labour-friendly impact of R&D expenditures (mainly related to product innovation) is found; yet, this positive employment effect appears to be entirely due to the medium-and high-tech sectors, while no effect can be detected in the low-tech industries; 2) capital formation is found to be negatively related to employment; this outcome points to a possible labour-saving effect due to the embodied technological change incorporated in gross investment (mainly related to process innovation).

Keywords: technological change, employment, sectoral analysis, EU

JEL Classification: O33

Suggested Citation

Piva, Mariacristina and Vivarelli, Marco, Technological Change and Employment: Were Ricardo and Marx Right? (January 2017). IZA Discussion Paper No. 10471. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2903093

Mariacristina Piva (Contact Author)

Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore ( email )

Via Emilia Parmense, 84
Piacenza
Italy

Marco Vivarelli

Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano ( email )

Largo Gemelli 1
Milano, 20123
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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