Sunday, May 31, 2015

Are wage increases a lagging indicator?

There's been a lot of handwringing over stagnant wages, but economist James Bessen tries to put it in historical context and makes the argument that the cause isn't technology (Vox):

There's been a lot of worry that increasingly sophisticated computers would replace more and more jobs, which could lead to a future where many low-skilled workers are unable to find a job at all.

But Bessen argues that this is a misunderstanding of recent economic trends. "I just don't see evidence of it," he says. "There are very few occupations where everything has been automated."

Bessen points to bank tellers as an example. During the 1990s and 2000s, banks installed thousands of automated teller machines. Yet surprisingly, the number of human tellers actually grew slightly during the same period
A similar interpretation from Ray Dalio at Bridgewater.

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