Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor

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pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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In the former group Susan Athey, David Autor, Zoe Baird, Nick Bloom, Tyler Cowen, Charles Fadel, Chrystia Freeland, Robert Gordon, Tom Kalil, Larry Katz, Tom Kochan, Frank Levy, James Manyika, Richard Murnane, Robert Putnam, Paul Romer, Scott Stern, Larry Summers, and Hal Varian have helped our thinking enormously. In the latter category are Chris Anderson, Rod Brooks, Peter Diamandis, Ephraim Heller, Reid Hoffman, Jeremy Howard, Kevin Kelly, Ray Kurzweil, John Leonard, Tod Loofbourrow, Hilary Mason, Tim O’Reilly, Sandy Pentland, Brad Templeton, and Vivek Wadhwa. All of them were incredibly generous with their time and tolerant of our questions. We did our best to understand the insights they shared with us, and apologize for whatever mistakes we made in trying to convey them in this book. Some members of both groups came together at an extraordinary series of lunches at MIT organized by John Leonard, Frank Levy, Daniela Rus, and Seth Teller that assembled people from the Economics Department, the Sloan School of Management, and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab to talk about exactly the topics in which we were most interested.

The New New Division of Labor Our ride that day on the 101 was especially weird for us because, only a few years earlier, we were sure that computers would not be able to drive cars. Excellent research and analysis, conducted by colleagues who we respect a great deal, concluded that driving would remain a human task for the foreseeable future. How they reached this conclusion, and how technologies like Chauffeur started to overturn it in just a few years, offers important lessons about digital progress. In 2004 Frank Levy and Richard Murnane published their book The New Division of Labor.1 The division they focused on was between human and digital labor—in other words, between people and computers. In any sensible economic system, people should focus on the tasks and jobs where they have a comparative advantage over computers, leaving computers the work for which they are better suited. In their book Levy and Murnane offered a way to think about which tasks fell into each category.

By contrast, technologies like big data and analytics, high-speed communications, and rapid prototyping have augmented the contributions made by more abstract and data-driven reasoning, and in turn have increased the value of people with the right engineering, creative, or design skills. The net effect has been to decrease demand for less skilled labor while increasing the demand for skilled labor. Economists including David Autor, Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane, Daron Acemoglu, and many others have documented this trend in dozens of careful studies.17 They call it skill-biased technical change. By definition, skill-biased technical change favors people with more human capital. FIGURE 9.2 Wages for Full-Time, Full-Year Male U.S. Workers, 1963–2008 The effects of skill-biased technical change can be vividly seen in figure 9.2, which is based on data from a paper by MIT economists Daron Acemoglu and David Autor.18 The lines tell a story about the diverging paths of millions of workers over recent generations.

 

pages: 72 words: 21,361

Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy by Erik Brynjolfsson

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But computers have started making inroads in some unexpected areas. This fact helps us to better understand the past few turbulent years and the true impact of digital technologies on jobs. A good illustration of how much recent technology advances have taken us by surprise comes from comparing a carefully researched book published in 2004 with an announcement made in 2010. The book is The New Division of Labor by economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane. As its title implies, it’s a description of the comparative capabilities of computers and human workers. In the book’s second chapter, “Why People Still Matter,” the authors present a spectrum of information-processing tasks. At one end are straightforward applications of existing rules. These tasks, such as performing arithmetic, can be easily automated. After all, computers are good at following rules.

The combination of higher pay in the face of growing supply points unmistakably to an increase in the relative demand for skilled labor. Because those with the least education typically already had the lowest wages, this change has increased overall income inequality. It’s clear from the chart in Figure 3.5 that wage divergence accelerated in the digital era. As documented in careful studies by David Autor, Lawrence Katz, and Alan Krueger, as well as Frank Levy and Richard Murnane and many others, the increase in the relative demand for skilled labor is closely correlated with advances in technology, particularly digital technologies. Hence, the moniker “skill-biased technical change,” or SBTC. There are two distinct components to recent SBTC. Technologies like robotics, numerically controlled machines, computerized inventory control, and automatic transcription have been substituting for routine tasks, displacing those workers.

Team members included Whitney Braunstein, Claire Calméjane, Greg Gimpel, Tong Li, Liron Wand, George Westerman, and Lynn Wu. We’re extremely grateful to them. In addition, Mona Masghati and Maya Bustan helped Andy a great deal with his research, and Heekyung Kim and Jonathan Sidi did the same for Erik. We are grateful for conversations on technology and employment with our MIT colleagues, including Daron Acemoglu, David Autor, Frank Levy, Tod Loofbourrow, Thomas Malone, Stuart Madnick, Wanda Orlikowski, Michael Schrage, Peter Weill, and Irving Wladawsky-Berger. In addition, Rob Atkinson, Yannis Bakos, Susanto Basu, Menzie Chinn, Robert Gordon, Lorin Hitt, Rob Huckman, Michael Mandel, Dan Snow, Zeynep Ton and Marshall van Alstyne were very generous with their insights. We also benefited greatly from talking with people in industry who are making and using incredible technologies, including Rod Brooks, Paul Hofmann Ray Kurzweil, Ike Nassi, and Hal Varian.

 

pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

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In the 1980s, for example, in the academic and research worlds, robotics was a moderately low-key branch of AI, while in the commercial world at that time the main take-up was of industrial robots—heavy duty, single-purpose machines, for soldering, welding, bolting, spray-painting, or assembling. These have typically been used in the manufacture of cars.53 Progress in robotics during the past decade has been dramatic, as Frank Levy and Richard Murnane would now have to agree. They are US economists and, in 2004, wrote an important book, The New Division of Labour, in which they asked what tasks computers could undertake better than people (and vice versa) and what jobs would survive (we address these questions in Chapter 7). They argued that computers had caused ‘a major upheaval in the nature of human work’, and that they would continue replacing people in ‘an ever widening range of tasks … the list becomes longer each year’.54 But they stopped short of declaring that computers would replace all jobs.

Rafael Calvo et al. (2015). 53 This was epitomized in television advertisements for the Fiat Strada in the late 1970s and early 1980s, carrying the strapline, ‘handbuilt by robots’, and then amusingly satirized by the TV comedy show Not the Nine o’clock News—a sketch depicting a factory full of people called ‘Bob’, ending with the tagline, ‘hand built by Roberts’: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU-tuY0Z7nQ> (accessed 24 March 2015). 54 Frank Levy and Richard Murnane, The New Division of Labour (2004), 1–2, for the upheaval, and 20–30 for the truck-driver discussion. 55 Alison Sander and Meldon Wolfgang, ‘The Rise of Robotics’, 27 Aug. 2014, at <https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/business_unit_strategy_innovation_rise_of_robotics> (accessed 23 March 2015). 56 See <http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/wiki/index.php/Automated_Driving:_Legislative_and_Regulatory_Action> (accessed 27 March 2015). 57 Guy Ryder, ‘Labor in the Age of Robots’, Project Syndicate, 22 Jan. 2015 <http://www.project-syndicate.org/> (accessed 23 March 2015). 58 Sam Frizell, ‘Meet the Robots Shipping Your Amazon Orders’, Time, 1 Dec. 2014, <http://time.com/3605924/amazon-robots/> (accessed 23 March 2015). 59 See <http://allaboutroboticsurgery.com/zeusrobot.html> (accessed 23 March 2015). 60 David Rose, Enchanted Objects (2014), 23–4; original emphasis. 61 See Julian Savulescu and Nick Bostrom, Human Enhancement (2011), on the technologies and the ethical questions they raise. 62 Malcolm Peltu and Yorick Wilks, ‘Close Engagements with Artificial Companions: Key Social, Psychological, Ethical and Design Issues’, OII/e-Horizons Discussion Paper, No. 14 (2008).

Autodesk, ‘Project Dreamcatcher’, 2015 <http://autodeskresearch.com/projects/dreamcatcher> (accessed 8 March 2015). Autor, David, ‘The “Task Approach” to Labor Markets: An Overview’, Institute for the Study of Labour Discussion Paper Series, No. 7178, Jan. 2013 <http://ftp.iza.org/dp7178.pdf>(accessed 25 March 2015). Autor, David, ‘Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth’, NBER Working Paper 20485, National Bureau of Economic Research (2014). Autor, David, Frank Levy, and Richard Murnane, ‘The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118: 4 (2003), 1279–333. Awan, Nishat, Tatjana Schneider, and Jeremy Till, Spatial Agency: Other Ways of Doing Architecture (New York: Routledge, 2011). Ayres, Ian, Super Crunchers, paperback edn. (London: John Murray, 2008). Baker, Stephen, Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011).

 

pages: 187 words: 55,801

The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market by Frank Levy, Richard J. Murnane

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Atul Gawande, call centre, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deskilling, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, hypertext link, index card, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, pattern recognition, profit motive, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, speech recognition, talking drums, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, working poor

A manager might never have a direct report exactly like Ned, but the ideas she would learn from discussing with others Alonzo’s problem with Ned would help build patterns of knowledge—schemas—that she could adapt to similar problems. 2. Todd Willis is a pseudonym for one of the participants in Basic Blue. 3. See Mary Ann Zehr, “Computer Giants Look to Students,” Education Week 17, no. 31 (April 15, 1998). 4. For the details of this story, see Richard Murnane, Nancy Sharkey, and Frank Levy, “A Role for the Internet in American Education? Lessons from Cisco Networking Academies,” in The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education, ed. Patricia Albjerg Graham and Nevzer G. Stacey (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2002), 127–57. 5. As discussed later, the community server also keeps track of students’ grades on chapter tests and the semester examination, eliminating the bookkeeping activities that consume a great deal of time for most teachers. 6.

Kathleen Donovan, a reference librarian at Harvard’s Gutman Library, tracked down numerous references for us, in some cases anticipating what we really wanted to know before we understood it. We thank Peter Dougherty, the social science editor at Princeton University Press, his colleague Tim Sullivan, and Suzanne Nichols of the Russell Sage Foundation for pushing us to clarify the book’s message and shepherding the manuscript to publication. Richard Murnane’s secretary, Wendy Angus, patiently kept track of the multiple versions of chapters and made sure that the right versions were sent to readers and to Peter. We dedicate this book to our families. Our children, David, Marin, John, and Daniel, would tease us about this book’s movie rights, but their good humor (most of the time) kept us going. Florence Levy gave us good skeptical questions and a mother’s encouragement.

This page intentionally left blank How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane RUSSELL SAGE FOUNDATION New York PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS Princeton and Oxford Copyright © 2004 by Russell Sage Foundation Requests for permission to reproduce materials from this work should be sent to Permissions, Princeton University Press Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, 3 Market Place, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1SY and Russell Sage Foundation, 112 East 64th Street, New York, New York 10021 All Rights Reserved Second printing, and first paperback printing, 2005 Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0-691-12402-5 Paperback ISBN-10: 0-691-12402-7 The Library of Congress has cataloged the cloth edition of this book as follows Levy, Frank, 1941– The new division of labor : how computers are creating the next job market / Frank Levy and Richard J.

 

pages: 268 words: 75,850

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl

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Computer scientist and teacher John MacCormick similarly gives the example of an algorithm’s unsuitability for being used as a teaching aid for grading students’ work, since this is a task that is too complex (and, depending on the subject, too subjective) for a bot to carry out.5 Could both of these tasks be performed algorithmically in the future as computers continue to get more powerful? Absolutely. It is for this reason that it is dangerous to bet against a bot. A decade ago, respected MIT and Harvard economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane published a well-researched book entitled The New Division of Labor, in which they compared the respective capabilities of human workers and computers. In an optimistic second chapter called “Why People Still Matter,” the authors described a spectrum of information-processing tasks ranging from those that could be handled by a computer (e.g., arithmetic), to those that only a human could do.

Stock Market.” Colors, no. 85, December 3, 2012. colorsmagazine.com/stories/magazine/85/story/algorithms. 4 Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (New York: Little, Brown, 2005). 5 MacCormick, John. Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today’s Computers (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012). 6 Levy, Frank, and Richard Murnane. The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (New York: Russell Sage Foundation; Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2004). 7 Stone, Brad. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (New York: Little, Brown, 2013). 8 Bellos, David. Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything (New York: Faber and Faber, 2011). 9 Lanier, Jaron.

 

pages: 347 words: 97,721

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

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While his objective was mainly to show how advancing automation could and must enable humans to embrace their humanity more, and he wasn’t as concerned with defining those human attributes too tightly, he did point to creativity and spirituality as parts of the human condition that machines do not share. He also identified a human strength in the range and speed of our adaptability, in contrast to both other animals and machines. More recently, economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane put a finer point on things, saying (in their persuasive book, The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market) that the great strengths of humans are expert thinking and complex communication. The brain’s gift for pattern recognition is the key to what they call “expert thinking,” which is what allows humans, but not computers, to imagine new ways of solving problems (ways, in other words, that have not already been discovered and spelled out step by step).

Nicita concedes that sophisticated decision analytics unleashed on large data sets will uncover new and important insights that her colleagues would miss. But, she says, that will give her people the opportunity to go deeper and offer clients “context, humanization and the ‘why’ behind big data.” Her shop will increasingly “go beyond analysis and translate that data in a way that informs business decisions through synthesis and the power of great narrative.” This sounds an awful lot like what economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane refer to as the human strength of complex communication. It also sounds like an ideal partnership of human and machine, in which the value each brings to the arrangement is amplified by the other—in other words, it sounds like augmentation. The best investments in intelligent machines, Nicita thinks—and this is the core belief of an augmentation strategy—do not usher people out the door, much less relegate them to doing the bidding of robot overlords.

Dan Townend, “Study Shows 40 Per Cent of Brits Rely on Autocorrect for Spelling,” Daily Express, October 5, 2014, http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/519111/Brits-rely-on-autocorrect-for-spelling 4. Christopher Niesche, “The New Flavours of Auditing,” IntheBlack.com, April 11, 2014, http://intheblack.com/articles/2014/04/11/the-new-flavours-of-auditing. 5. Catherine Rampell, “Want a Job? Go to College, and Don’t Major in Architecture,” New York Times Economix blog, January 5, 2012, http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/want-a-job-go-to-college-and-dont-major-in-architecture. 6. Frank Levy, “How College Changes Demands for Human Skills,” OECD Working Paper, March 2010, http://www.oecd.org/edu/skills-beyond-school/45052661.pdf. Chapter 2: Just How Smart Are Smart Machines? 1. Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near (New York: Viking, 2005), 206. 2. Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris, “Automated Decision-Making Comes of Age,” MIT Sloan Management Review, Summer 2005, http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/automated-decision-making-comes-of-age/. 3.

 

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The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It by Timothy Noah

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But as service jobs migrate offshore, the more relevant distinction is between what Blinder calls “personally-delivered services” and “impersonally-delivered services.” Only impersonally delivered services can be moved offshore.21 Impersonally delivered services bear some similarity to, but are not exactly the same as, jobs requiring “rule-based logic,” which, as noted in the previous chapter, are the jobs that the MIT economist Frank Levy and the Harvard economist Richard Murnane deem most vulnerable to automation. But impersonally delivered services include a lot more high-skill jobs (though they include lots of low-skill jobs, too). Securities analysis (high-skill) can be delivered remotely; so can keyboard entry (low-skill), radiology (high-skill), and customer complaint centers. Governments have become enthusiastic exporters of service jobs, though in the United States it’s typically done through private-sector subcontractors.

Our story begins at the dawn of the computer age in the 1950s, when long-standing worries that automation would create mass unemployment entered an acute phase. Economic theory dating back to the nineteenth century said that technological advances wouldn’t reduce net employment because the number of jobs wasn’t fixed; a new machine might eliminate jobs in one part of the economy, but it would also create jobs in another part.6 For example, someone had to be employed to make these new machines. But as the economists Frank Levy of MIT and Richard J. Murnane of Harvard point out in their 2004 book The New Division of Labor, computers represented an entirely different sort of new machine. Previously, technology had performed physical tasks. (Think of John Henry‘s nemesis, the steam-powered hammer.) Computers were designed to perform cognitive tasks. (Think of Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings’s nemesis, IBM’s Watson.) Theoretically, there was no limit to the kinds of work computers might eventually perform.

The people holding high-skill jobs may be slightly more likely than low-and medium-skilled workers to see their jobs moved offshore, but they are a lot more likely to have their worries about that danger heeded in Washington, in state governments, and in professional societies. Blue-collar calls for protectionist policies have fallen on deaf ears. Similar demands from the affluent might not. Indeed, to some extent they’ve already been heeded. American radiologists, MIT’s Frank Levy and Kyoung-Hee Yu of the Australian School of Business note in a 2006 paper, have managed to keep a pretty tight regulatory lid on the offshoring of their services, which are nothing if not impersonally delivered. I have done business with perhaps half a dozen radiologists in my life, but I have never met one face-to-face, nor even spoken to one by phone; their job is to read and interpret scans, not to interact with the people who’ve been scanned, and the task of explaining what the interpretations mean falls to a third party—the patient’s physician.

 

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The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

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It forces us to change our thinking about what computers and robots can and can’t do. Up until that fateful October day, it was taken for granted that many important skills lay beyond the reach of automation. Computers could do a lot of things, but they couldn’t do everything. In an influential 2004 book, The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market, economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane argued, convincingly, that there were practical limits to the ability of software programmers to replicate human talents, particularly those involving sensory perception, pattern recognition, and conceptual knowledge. They pointed specifically to the example of driving a car on the open road, a talent that requires the instantaneous interpretation of a welter of visual signals and an ability to adapt seamlessly to shifting and often unanticipated situations.

See also Tom Vanderbilt, “Let the Robot Drive: The Autonomous Car of the Future Is Here,” Wired, February 2012. 2.Daniel DeBolt, “Google’s Self-Driving Car in Five-Car Crash,” Mountain View Voice, August 8, 2011. 3.Richard Waters and Henry Foy, “Tesla Moves Ahead of Google in Race to Build Self-Driving Cars,” Financial Times, September 17, 2013, ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/70d26288-1faf-11e3-8861-00144feab7de.html. 4.Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane, The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 20. 5.Tom A. Schweizer et al., “Brain Activity during Driving with Distraction: An Immersive fMRI Study,” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, February 28, 2013, frontiersin.org/Human_Neuroscience/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00053/full. 6.N. Katherine Hayles, How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012), 2. 7.Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Judith LeFevre, “Optimal Experience in Work and Leisure,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 56, no. 5 (1989): 815–822. 8.Daniel T.

., 21. 39.Wilbur Wright, “Some Aeronautical Experiments,” speech before the Western Society of Engineers, September 18, 1901, www.wright-house.com/wright-brothers/Aeronautical.html. 40.Mindell, Digital Apollo, 21. 41.J. O. Roberts, “ ‘The Case against Automation in Manned Fighter Aircraft,” SETP Quarterly Review 2, no. 3 (Fall 1957): 18–23. 42.Quoted in Mindell, Between Human and Machine, 77. 43.Harris, Human Performance on the Flight Deck, 221. Chapter Four: THE DEGENERATION EFFECT 1.Alfred North Whitehead, An Introduction to Mathematics (New York: Henry Holt, 1911), 61. 2.Quoted in Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane, The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 4. 3.Raja Parasuraman et al., “Model for Types and Levels of Human Interaction with Automation,” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics—Part A: Systems and Humans 30, no. 3 (2000): 286–297. See also Nadine Sarter et al., “Automation Surprises,” in Gavriel Salvendy, ed., Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2nd ed.

 

pages: 204 words: 67,922

Elsewhere, U.S.A: How We Got From the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms,and Economic Anxiety by Dalton Conley

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3D printing, call centre, clean water, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, feminist movement, financial independence, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, oil shock, PageRank, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, principal–agent problem, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

Or what about updating our garage band’s MySpace site at 2:00 a.m.? After all, it is for our band, which we hope will be discovered in the not-too-distant future. That’s an investment, isn’t it? For most of the industrial era, machines were used to augment or replace humans in performing some physical tasks. Now, with computerization, they were replacing some mental tasks as well. The economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane put the emphasis on some since, they point out, a robot could not change a baby’s diaper. Similarly, computers (so far) are not very good at synthesizing data to see patterns on their own. They have no interpretive ability. Thus computers, according to Levy and Murnane, create as many jobs as they eliminate. They do this by stimulating economic growth by lowering costs for the tasks they do well: Computers “shift work away from routine tasks and towards … expert thinking and complex communication.”

Ann Huff Stevens, “The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Trends in Long-Term Employment in the United States,” NBER Working Paper no. 11878, 2005. 35. Arlie Russell Hochschild, The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work (New York: Metropolitan Books, 1997). 36. Markus Mobius and Raphael Schoenle, “The Evolution of Work,” NBER Working Paper no. 12694, 2006. 37. Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane, The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2004.). 38. Ibid., p. 38. 39. “Employment Status of Women and Men in 2006,” Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, at http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/Qf-ESWM06.htm. 40. Alison Owings, Hey, Waitress!: The USA From the Other Side of the Tray (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.). 41.

 

pages: 479 words: 144,453

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, European colonialism, experimental subject, falling living standards, Flash crash, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, glass ceiling, global village, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Kevin Kelly, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, mutually assured destruction, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, too big to fail, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, ultimatum game, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Not that Beane and Oakland could enjoy their success for long. Soon enough, many other baseball teams adopted the same algorithmic approach, and since the Yankees and Red Sox could pay far more for both baseball players and computer software, low-budget teams such as the Oakland Athletics now had an even smaller chance of beating the system than before.14 In 2004 Professor Frank Levy from MIT and Professor Richard Murnane from Harvard published a thorough research of the job market, listing those professions most likely to undergo automation. Truck drivers were given as an example of a job that could not possibly be automated in the foreseeable future. It is hard to imagine, they wrote, that algorithms could safely drive trucks on a busy road. A mere ten years later, Google and Tesla not only imagine this, but are actually making it happen.15 In fact, as time goes by, it becomes easier and easier to replace humans with computer algorithms, not merely because the algorithms are getting smarter, but also because humans are professionalising.

Rebecca Morelle, ‘Google Machine Learns to Master Video Games’, BBC, 25 February 2015, accessed 12 August 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31623427; Elizabeth Lopatto, ‘Google’s AI Can Learn to Play Video Games’, The Verge, 25 February 2015, accessed 12 August 2015, http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/25/8108399/google-ai-deepmind-video-games; Volodymyr Mnih et al., ‘Human-Level Control through Deep Reinforcement Learning’, Nature, 26 February 2015, accessed 12 August 2015, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v518/n7540/full/nature14236.html. 14. Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003). Also see the 2011 film Moneyball, directed by Bennett Miller and starring Brad Pitt as Billy Beane. 15. Frank Levy and Richard Murnane, The New Division of Labor: How Computers are Creating the Next Job Market (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004); Dormehl, The Formula, 225–6. 16. Tom Simonite, ‘When Your Boss is an Uber Algorithm’, MIT Technology Review, 1 December 2015, retrieved 4 February 2016, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/543946/when-your-boss-is-an-uber-algorithm/. 17. Simon Sharwood, ‘Software “Appointed to Board” of Venture Capital Firm’, The Register, 18 May 2014, accessed 12 August 2015, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/18/software_appointed_to_board_of_venture_capital_firm/; John Bates, ‘I’m the Chairman of the Board’, Huffington Post, 6 April 2014, accessed 12 August 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-bates/im-the-chairman-of-the-bo_b_5440591.html; Colm Gorey, ‘I’m Afraid I Can’t Invest in That, Dave: AI Appointed to VC Funding Board’, Silicon Republic, 15 May 2014, accessed 12 August 2015, https://www.siliconrepublic.com/discovery/2014/05/15/im-afraid-i-cant-invest-in-that-dave-ai-appointed-to-vc-funding-board. 18.

 

pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman

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autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

David Rotman, “How Technology Is Destroying Jobs,” MIT Technology Review (June 12, 2013). http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/515926/how-technology-is-destroying-jobs 22. Quoted in: Brynjolfsson and McAfee, The Second Machine Age, p. 27. 23. Ian Morris, Why The West Rules – For Now (2010), p. 495. 24. Morris, Why The West Rules, p. 497. 25. Diane Coyle, GDP. A Brief but Affectionate History (2014), p. 79. 26. Frank Levy and Richard Murnane, The New Division of Labor (2004). 27. There are indications that even jobs for the highly-skilled have come under pressure since 2000, leading them to snap up the less-skilled jobs. Increasingly, employees are overqualified for their jobs. See: Paul Beaudry, David A. Green and Ben Sand, “The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks,” National Bureau of Economic Research (January 2013). http://www.economics.ubc.ca/files/2013/05/pdf_paper_paul-beaudry-great-reversal.pdf 28.

 

pages: 518 words: 147,036

The Fissured Workplace by David Weil

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, barriers to entry, business process, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, employer provided health coverage, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, intermodal, inventory management, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, law of one price, loss aversion, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, occupational segregation, performance metric, pre–internet, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, Rana Plaza, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, ultimatum game, union organizing, women in the workforce, Y2K, yield management

“Making the HR Outsourcing Decision.” Sloan Management Review 45, no. 1: 53–60. Alexander, Charlotte. 2012. “The Law and Economics of Peripheral Labor: A Poultry Industry Case Study.” Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law (forthcoming). Appelbaum, Eileen, and Rose Batt. 2012. “A Primer on Private Equity at Work.” Challenge 55, no. 5: 5–38. Appelbaum, Eileen, Annette Bernhardt, and Richard Murnane, eds. 2003. Low Wage America: How Employers Are Reshaping Opportunity in the Workplace. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Arlen, Jennifer, and W. Bentley MacLeod. 2005. “Beyond Master-Servant: A Critique of Vicarious Liability.” In Exploring Tort Law, edited by Stuart Madden. New York: Cambridge University Press, 111–142. Appleton, William C., and Joe Baker. 1984. “The Effect of Unionization on Safety in Bituminous Deep Mines.”

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America. New York: Holt. Erickcek, George, Susan Houseman, and Arne Kalleberg. 2003. “The Effects of Temporary Services and Contracting Out on Low-Skilled Workers: Evidence from Auto Suppliers, Hospitals, and Public Schools.” In Low Wage America: How Employers Are Reshaping Opportunity in the Workplace, edited by Eileen Appelbaum, Annette Bernhardt, and Richard Murnane. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 368–406. Erickson, Chris, and Daniel Mitchell. 2007. “Monopsony as a Metaphor for the Emerging Post-union Labor Market.” International Labor Review 146, nos. 3–4: 163–187. Estlund, Cynthia. 1992. “What Do Workers Want? Employee Interests, Public Interests, and Freedom of Expression under the National Labor Relations Act.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 140, no. 3: 921–1004. ______. 2005.

Autor, David. 2010. “The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the US Labor Market: Implications for Employment and Earnings.” Center for American Progress / The Hamilton Project. Autor, David, and David Dorn. 2009. “Inequality and Specialization: The Growth of Low-Skilled Service Employment in the United States.” Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 15150. Autor, David, Frank Levy, and Richard J. Murnane. 2003. “The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 116, no. 4: 1449–1492. Baker, George, and Thomas Hubbard. 2003. “Make versus Buy in Trucking: Asset Ownership, Job Design, and Information.” American Economic Review 93, no. 3: 551–572. Baldwin, Carliss, and Kim Clark. 1997. “Managing in an Age of Modularity.”

 

pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

A November 2015 McKinsey and Company study indicates that “as many as 45 percent of the activities individuals are paid to perform can be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies.”14 Looking deeper into the future of work, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in The Second Machine Age argue that although computers have been transforming work, economics, and everyday life for several decades, we have finally reached a pivotal moment—a moment when we are grappling with the “full force” of digital technologies. The Second Machine Age builds on a book by the economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane about the human–computer tradeoff in the labor market.15 Levy and Murnane examine, in detail, what tasks computers perform better than humans, and what tasks humans perform better than computers. They draw a broad conclusion—that computers have inherent advantages in tasks like rule-based decision making and simple pattern recognition, but digitization makes two kinds of tasks (complex communication and expert thinking) more valuable—and prescribe that humans acquire the skills that enable them to take on jobs involving such tasks.

, CEPS Working Paper No. 142, Princeton, NJ, March 2007, 2. https://www.princeton.edu/ceps/workingpapers/142blinder.pdf. 12. Alan S. Blinder and Alan B. Krueger, Alternative Measures of Offshorability: A Survey Approach, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. w15287, 2006, http://www.nber.org/papers/w15287. 13. Blinder, How Many U.S. Jobs, 35. 14. The McKinsey study is at http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/business_technology/four_fundamentals_of_workplace_automation. 15. Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane, The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004). 16. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W.W. Norton, 2014), 9. 17. Ibid., 9–10. 18. Ibid., 10. 19. Ibid., 180. 20. David Card and John E. DiNardo, “Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles,” Journal of Labor Economics 20, 4 (2002): 733–783. 21.

 

pages: 543 words: 147,357

Them And Us: Politics, Greed And Inequality - Why We Need A Fair Society by Will Hutton

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, cloud computing, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, discovery of the americas, discrete time, diversification, double helix, Edward Glaeser, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, railway mania, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, unpaid internship, value at risk, Washington Consensus, working poor, éminence grise

Porter and Claas van der Linde (1995) ‘Green and Competitive: Ending the Stalemate’, Harvard Business Review, September–October. 57 Joakim Nordqvist (2006) ‘Evaluation of Japan’s Top Runner Programme: Within the Framework of the AID-EE Project’, at http://www.aid-ee.org/index.htm. Chapter Ten: Dismantling the Have-What-I-Hold Society 1 Cabinet Office (2009) Unleashing Aspiration: The Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions, HMSO. 2 Frank Levy and Richard Murnane (2004) The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market, Princeton University Press. See also Maarten Goos and Alan Manning (2007) ‘Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain’, Review of Economics and Statistics 89 (1): 118–33. 3 Howard Gardner (2009) Five Minds for the Future, Harvard Business School Press. 4 Arjun Appadurai, ‘The Capacity to Aspire: Culture and the Terms of Recognition’, in Vijayendra Rao and Michael Walton (eds) (2004) Culture and Public Action, Stanford University Press. 5 See his latest work: Amartya Sen (2009) The Idea of Justice, Harvard University Press; see also his (1992) Inequality Reexamined, Oxford University Press. 6 Edmund Phelps (2006) ‘Macroeconomics for a Modern Economy’, Nobel Prize lecture. 7 Tom Clark and Andrew Leicester (2004) ‘Inequality and Two Decades of British Tax and Benefit Reforms’, Fiscal Studies 25 (2): 129–58. 8 Alison Wolf, ‘Education’, in Varun Uberoi, Adam Coutts, Iain Mclean and David Halpern (eds) (2009) Options for a New Britain, Palgrave Macmillan. 9 Tim Horton and James Gregory (2009) The Solidarity Society: Why We Can Afford to End Poverty and How to Do It with Public Support, Fabian Society. 10 Tom MacInnes, Peter Kenway and Anushree Parekh, ‘Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2009’, report, Joseph Rowntree Foundation. 11 John Hills, Tom Sefton and Kitty Stewart (eds) (2009) Towards a More Equal Society?

 

pages: 309 words: 114,984

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, crowdsourcing, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra

More important, as recently as a decade ago, some very smart and savvy computer engineers and economists believed that another seemingly intractable problem, building a driverless car, was beyond the reach of modern technology. Just consider the challenges: a kid running into the street after a soccer ball; a texting teenager swerving in the middle lane; a traffic light on the fritz. And the left turn. “Executing a left turn across oncoming traffic,” two highly respected economists, MIT’s Frank Levy and Harvard’s Richard Murnane, wrote in 2004, “involves so many factors that it is hard to imagine the set of rules that can replicate a driver’s behavior.” Yet six years later, Google’s unveiling of its driverless car demonstrated that this “insoluble problem” had been solved. As of April 2014, the Google car had clocked nearly 700,000 miles and been involved in two accidents. One reportedly occurred after a human took over the wheel, and the other when the Google car was rear-ended by, one presumes, another human driver.