Automation, Technology Investments and Local Labour Market Change

Most scholars agree that firm's investments in production technology and in the automation of production has affected, and will continue to affect, the overall demand for labour in regions, but also the particular skills that employees look for. Nevertheless, different streams of literatures investigating the issue have reached diametrically opposing results. On the one hand, some argue that automation will make many jobs obsolete and completely change our traditional views on what a 'job' actually is and contains. On the other hand, some argue, based on quite some empirical substance, that investments in automation and new production technologies increase firm's competitiveness in the longer run, and therefore increase local labour demand for many kinds of jobs.

This session aims to explore the possible and various links between automation, firm investments in new production technologies and the outcomes on local labour markets. We welcome theoretical and empirical contributions, documenting quantitative or case study evidence within this field, and dealing with, for example,