Quotation Zilian, Stella Sophie, Unger, Maximilian, Scheuer, Timon, Polt, Wolfgang, Altzinger, Wilfried. 2016. Technologischer Wandel und Ungleichheit: Zum Stand der empirischen Forschung. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 42 (4), 591-615.




The on-going digitalization of economic activities has once again fuelled the discussion concerning the effects of technological change on employment and the income distribution. This article investigates recent empirical studies and, despite the methodological and con-ceptual differences that are found, identifies several key findings. In the medium run pro-ductivity gains seem to be neutral with regard to employment, although significant negative effects may occur in the short run. In addition, these effects might vary among sectors. The effects of innovation intensity also differ among sectors and firms where product innova-tions in particular seem to have positive effects on employment. Any displacement induced by technological change affects workers differently depending on their tasks and qualifica-tions. This leads to a polarization at the labour market. The unequal impact of technological change on different occupations in turn partly determines the income distribution, which also exhibits a tendency towards polarization. At the same time, aspects of market struc-ture and market power are relevant for the distribution of income among firms as well as between firms and employees. This article therefore concludes that the distributional issues in connection with technological change have to be discussed in a new perspective considering the varying impact of technological change on the income distribution between people with different qualifications as well as between capital and labour.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft
Language German
Title Technologischer Wandel und Ungleichheit: Zum Stand der empirischen Forschung
Volume 42
Number 4
Year 2016
Page from 591
Page to 615
URL https://www.wu.ac.at/fileadmin/wu/d/i/vw1/Willi/Technologischer_Wandel_und_Ungleichheit__WuG_2016_4_.pdf
DOI na


Zilian, Stella Sophie (Details)
Polt, Wolfgang (Former researcher)
Altzinger, Wilfried (Details)
Scheuer, Timon (Graz Schumpeter Centre, Austria)
Unger, Maximilian (Joanneum Research Policies, Wien, Austria)
Institute for Macroeconomics IN (Details)
Competence Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility WE (Details)
Economics of Inequality FI (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5371 Macroeconomics (Details)
5804 Educational economy (Details)
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