Three Essays on Automation

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


Recent advances in technological capabilities raise concern that a sizable fraction of today's occupations is at high risk of being automated in the near future. There are many studies in the literature arguing that this is a concrete possibility. What these papers do in practice is first to understand what technology is able to do today and what will be able to do in the near future according to technology experts. Then, they match this information with the tasks that are performed today by workers in their occupations. While there is a direct effect that tends to decrease the demand for such workers, there are other general equilibrium effects associated with the adoption of automation technology that tend to increase the demand for labor. Indeed, despite massive automation has happened in the past, labor did not become "redundant". Despite the known benefit of technological progress on economic growth and living standard, it has also been identified as one of the major reasons for the decrease in the earning and employment prospects for specific groups of populations. To understand automation means to design better policies that can maximize the benefits of technological advances by incentivizing innovation and reallocating resources to the most fragile households. Moreover, the Coronavirus pandemic could further increase the incentive to adopt labor-substituting technologies, as machines do not get infected and sick. To understand the conditions that foster the adoption of automation technology and the overall effect of automation on earnings and employment is the focus of this doctoral thesis.
Date of Award16 Jun 2021
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJordi Caballé (Director) & Javier Fernandez Blanco (Director)


  • Automation

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