Technology and the Task Content of Jobs across the Development Spectrum

Conclusions from Caunedo, Keller, and Shin, Y. (2021; bold added):

“Recently, technological change and rising inequality have been emphasised as two linked phenomena, particularly within developed economies. But throughout history this was not always the case. The post-World War period was one characterised by strong growth, technological advances, and improvements in income levels across the board that shrank income inequality.

Policymakers can start with removing barriers and distortions that deter the reallocation of workers driven by technological change, which will make the economy more efficient. It is also important to further study the link between frictions in the labour market and incentives to adopt new technology.

Equally important is the study of the policies that can foster human capital accumulation through schooling, job training, and re-training so that workers can fully utilise and benefit from the ongoing technological progress.

Not everyone will benefit from technological change and some will fall through the cracks. Practitioners and academics alike will need to renew our thinking on the optimal design of social safety nets. Incorporating job informality, a pervasive problem in poorer economies, should be a priority.”


Caunedo, J., Keller, E., & Shin, Y. (2021). Technology and the Task Content of Jobs across the Development Spectrum. NBER Working Paper Series, 28681.