Automation and inequality

The effects of digital transformation on employment have been widely addressed and discussed. However, the effects on wages remain highly controversial among labour economists. We place a special focus on the differences between the US, European and German discussions. The scoping study identifies the causes and conditions of the different developments in both Germany and the US and utilises expert interviews to validate these assessments.

Guiding questions:

  • How can we assess the research findings on degrading and upgrading skill trends and the polarisation of the labour market?
  • How and through which mechanisms are wage-setting procedures and incomes influenced by automation?

Project partner: Laura Tyson, UC Berkeley

All four work packages critically overview and analyse German and international literature dealing with the effects of automation and the platform economy on the reorganisation and re-regulation of employment.


Automation, Digitization and the Future of Work. Online workshop on September 1 and 2, 2020, in cooperation with Laura Tyson, UC Berkeley. Speakers include: David Autor, Christian Dustmann. Workshop programme here. [134 KB]


Didem Özkiziltan and Anke Hassel. 2020. Humans versus Machines: An Overview of Research on the Effects of the Automation of Work. Working paper. Executive Summary (in English and German)

Laura D’Andrea Tyson. 2020. Automation and the Future of Work in Germany: A Summary of Research and Policy Recommendations. Working Paper August 2020.