Working Papers

S. De Nardis, F. Parente: Technology, Task and wage-bill changes in the EU countries

Drawing on the methodological framework from Acemoglu and Restrepo (2019), this paper investigates the influence of technological innovations on the economy-wide wage bill of four main European countries. The model-based decomposition applied to France, Germany, Italy and Spain shows that: a) the wage-bill deceleration since the 1990s has mainly been productivity driven; b) this deceleration at the same time fell short of productivity dynamics, giving rise to some degree of wage share compression; c) contraction of labor-intensive tasks played a relevant role in such compression; d) this was reflected in an acceleration of technology-induced labor displacement, not sufficiently offset by the reinstatement of new labor-intensive tasks; e) among relevant national specificities, a common feature of the considered countries was labor displacement in service sectors, (particularly the low-end ones). Econometric analysis of factors influencing the displacement effect confirms correlation with specified technology variables (i.e. automation-exposed jobs and investment in software capital).

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