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Computer technology and probable job destructions in Japan: An evaluation

Benjamin David

Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, 2017, vol. 43, issue C, 77-87

Abstract: Computer technology is currently experiencing important developments by generating new tools and methods with increasing capacities. This suggests that a growing share of economic tasks could be performed by this new capital at the expense of labor. This paper evaluates the risk of job destructions induced by computer technology in Japan. We aim at assessing the vulnerability of employment from a technical point of view by considering jobs’ differential dotation in non-programmable skills. Relying on machine learning technique, we find evidence that approximatively 55% of jobs are susceptible to be carried by computer capital in the next years. We also show that there is no significant difference on the basis of gender. On the contrary, non-regular jobs (those that concern temporary and part-time workers) are more vulnerable to computer technology diffusion than the others. These findings, based on technical background, shed light on the scale of the potential capital/labor substitution but this dynamics will also depends on economic and social factors.

Keywords: Computer technology; Japanese labor market; Automation; Random forest (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C53 J21 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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