Kaj je uničilo več delovnih mest: avtomatizacija ali trgovina?

David Autor pravi, da v enaki meri:

If we’re talking from 1980 to the present, automation has certainly been a bigger factor in the decline of manufacturing employment than trade. But from 2001 to the present, I think trade is at least equally important.

Priporočam branje spodnjega odličnega intervjuja z Davidom Autorjem v Washington Postu, z raziskovalcem, ki je najbolje raziskal učinke in posledice “Kitajskega šoka” in ob tem ostal objektiven.

Tudi Noah Smith je pripravil dober thread na to temo. Avtomatizacija proizvodnje pač ni nenadoma izbruhnila leta 2000, liberalizacija trgovine s Kitajsko (sprejem Kitajske v WTO leta 2001) pa je.

Kot sem pisal že nekajkrat – tudi standardni teoretski modeli zunanje trgovine (denimo Heckscher-Ohlinov 2-sektorski model) kažejo, da liberalizacija trgovine ob splošnih neto koristih za vsako državo prinaša tudi redistribucijo med sektorji in med skupinami zaposlenih. Nekateri pridobijo, drugi izgubijo. Zato je ključno, da proces liberalizacije trgovine spremljajo tudi procesi kompenzacije tistim, ki so ali bodo izgubili z libeeralizacijo. To pa pomeni ne samo socialne in davčne politike, pač pa politike, ki pomagajo kreirati nove industrije in nova delovna mesta in politike, ki omogočajo enakost možnosti vsem. Torej industrijske politike za posamezne panoge, vlaganja v raziskave in razvoj, povečana sredstva za javno šolstvo in zdravstvo in povečane investicije v infrastrukturo. Sicer se vam zgodi to, kar se je zgodilo ZDA po “Kitajskem šoku” po letu 2001. V neki fazi, ko socialno nezadovoljstvo preseže določen prag, dobite na oblast lažnive populiste, ki nato samo še poslabšajo zadeve.

Te argumente navaja tudi David Autor v spodnjem izseku iz intervjuja:

I wanted to ask you about automation. Some research claims as much as 80 percent of the jobs lost in manufacturing are due to automation. Do you agree?

If we’re talking from 1980 to the present, automation has certainly been a bigger factor in the decline of manufacturing employment than trade. But from 2001 to the present, I think trade is at least equally important. The other thing is that trade is much faster moving, while automation tends to be more gradual.

Automation will occur whether we lead or we lag on it. Automation could benefit us in two ways. One is by increasing productivity. The other is that if we develop those technologies, the industries that grow up around them will create profit and wealth in the U.S. So we ought to be thinking of automation as a strategic asset. As much as we recognize that, just like trade, automation doesn’t make everyone better off, it does raise national wealth, and that gives us the scope to make everyone better off.

What advice would you give the new administration in terms of labor force policies?  

I think steps the Obama administration was taking in terms of worker protections, safety enforcement, wage and overtime laws, and so on were important. I think it’s incredibly important to retain access to healthcare and health insurance.

But there’s no substitute for economic growth, so I do want to see pro-growth policies like tax reform and investment. We should be investing in infrastructure and education. The way that public education institutions are being decimated is a huge national loss. And we would benefit from government investment in R&D, for example the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health.

There is a big role for the government in facilitating growth, and it’s not just about deregulating and letting dirty industries pollute more, and letting companies give bad financial advice to pensioners. Growth isn’t a matter of letting one group of people take advantage of another. It’s choosing policies that make the system work better.

Vir: Washington Post

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