Toil and Technology: Innovative technology is displacing workers to new jobs rather than replacing them entirely
James Bessen in IMF Finance and Development
Policymakers need to know which way technology is headed. If it replaces workers, they will need to cope with ever-growing unemployment and widening economic inequality. But if the primary problem is displacement, they will mainly have to develop a workforce with new specialized skills. The two problems call for very different solutions.
James Bessen in Foreign Affairs
Politics is about balancing competing interests. Opposing factions battle one another but ultimately compromise, each getting something it wants. In recent decades, however, start-ups have consistently lost out. Whereas established interests have the money and lobbying power to buy political influence, newer firms offer only the promise of future profits. As Jim Cooper, a Democratic congressman from Tennessee, has framed the problem, “The future has no lobbyists.”
James Bessen in Harvard Business Review Blog:
“Why are skills sometimes hard to measure and to manage? Because new technologies frequently require specific new skills that schools don’t teach and that labor markets don’t supply. Since information technologies have radically changed much work over the last couple of decades, employers have had persistent difficulty finding workers who can make the most of these new technologies.”
Washington Post: James Bessen on ATMs and bank tellers.
Wall Street Journal: James Bessen on state efforts to curb patent trolls.
Senator Hatch citing research on patent reform: