The Future of Jobs is Facing One, Maybe Two, of the Biggest Price Distortions Ever - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

The Future of Jobs is Facing One, Maybe Two, of the Biggest Price Distortions Ever

Lant Pritchett


Date:
December, 2019

NO.
1370

Publisher:
Economic Research Forum

Topic:
J6. Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
I2. Education and Research Institutions

Discussions of the future of jobs are concerned that technological change will displace labor and particularly jobs. In this work it is rarely remarked on the strangeness that some of the most globally scarce factors of high level technical expertise, capability to innovate, and entrepreneurial talent are devoted to economizing on–reducing the demand for–one of the most globally abundant factors: low to medium skill labor. I show that policy based barriers to the mobility of labor have created the largest single price distortion in history and that this price distortion induces biased technological change.

 

Lant Pritchett


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