Friday, June 30th, 2017 9:28 am

Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Question A: Holding labor market institutions and job training fixed, rising use of robots and artificial intelligence is likely to increase substantially the number of workers in advanced countries who are unemployed for long periods.

Responses
 

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Responses weighted by each expert's confidence

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Question B: Rising use of robots and artificial intelligence in advanced countries is likely to create benefits large enough that they could be used to compensate those workers who are substantially negatively affected for their lost wages.

Responses
 

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Responses weighted by each expert's confidence

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Question A Participant Responses

Participant University Vote Confidence Comment Bio/Vote History
Aghion Philippe Aghion Harvard Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Allen Franklin Allen Imperial College London Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Antras Pol Antras Harvard Uncertain 7
Historical evidence doesn't make me too pessimistic but some adjustment to labor market policies might be necessary to avoid transition cost
Bio/Vote History
         
Baldwin Richard Baldwin The Graduate Institute Geneva Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Besley Timothy J. Besley LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Blanchard Olivier Blanchard Peterson Institute Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Bloom Nicholas Bloom Stanford Uncertain 1
Bio/Vote History
         
Blundell Richard William Blundell University College London Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Bénassy-Quéré Agnès Bénassy-Quéré Paris School of Economics Agree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Carletti Elena Carletti Bocconi Uncertain 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Danthine Jean-Pierre Danthine Paris School of Economics Agree 7
Some advanced countries have adequate institutions to facilitate the transition and a demography foreboding a shortage of workers.
Bio/Vote History
         
De Grauwe Paul De Grauwe LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Eeckhout Jan Eeckhout University College London Disagree 9
The problem may be that wages are low or that work is unsatisfactory, but not long term unemployment. Labor force participation may decline.
Bio/Vote History
         
Fehr Ernst Fehr Universität Zurich Disagree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Freixas Xavier Freixas Universitat Pompeu Fabra Strongly Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Fuchs-Schündeln Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Uncertain 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Galí Jordi Galí Universitat Pompeu Fabra Agree 7
Must be true in the short run, unless it takes place in the context of expanding aggregate demand, which would facilitate reabsoption
Bio/Vote History
         
Garicano Luis Garicano LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Giavazzi Francesco Giavazzi Bocconi Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Griffith Rachel Griffith University of Manchester Agree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Guerrieri Veronica Guerrieri Chicago Booth Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Guiso Luigi Guiso Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance Uncertain 5
robots may be accompanied by other innovations that can abosorb the workers laid off, but exent of this is uncertain
Bio/Vote History
         
Hellwig Martin Hellwig Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods No Opinion
the answer depends a lot on what alternative employment (at possibly lower wages) is available.
Bio/Vote History
         
Honohan Patrick Honohan Trinity College Dublin Uncertain 2
Speed of innovation quite unclear; suppressing labour market and training response loads the question in direction of unemployment.
Bio/Vote History
         
Kleven Henrik Kleven Princeton Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Krahnen Jan Pieter Krahnen Goethe University Frankfurt Disagree 7
We will see lots of changes, not only robots coming in. But also very different ways of working, leading also to shorter employment spells.
Bio/Vote History
         
Krusell Per Krusell Stockholm University Disagree 8
Perhaps unemployment could rise in the short run but employment will respond to labor supply: there will be jobs.
Bio/Vote History
         
Kőszegi Botond Kőszegi Central European University Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
La Ferrara Eliana La Ferrara Bocconi Agree 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Leuz Christian Leuz Chicago Booth Uncertain 4
History&prior evidence disagree. Some job polarization&lots of complementarity. Could AI&robots be different? Yes, but so far very uncertain
-see background information here
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         
Meghir Costas Meghir Yale Uncertain 4
The outcome will depend on the institutional structure. More flexible labor markets will allow a faster adjustment
Bio/Vote History
         
Neary Peter Neary Oxford Disagree 6
Some workers will be displaced, some will retrain, the new technology is likely to diffuse slowly, especially in service industries.
Bio/Vote History
         
O'Rourke Kevin O'Rourke Oxford Uncertain 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Pagano Marco Pagano Università di Napoli Federico II Agree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Pastor Lubos Pastor Chicago Booth Agree 4
Job training needs to change
Bio/Vote History
         
Persson Torsten Persson Stockholm University Agree 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Pissarides Christopher Pissarides LSE Strongly Disagree 10
Jobs will be destroyed in some sectors but created in other sectors. Sectoral shifts are common without large unemployment hikes
Bio/Vote History
         
Portes Richard Portes London Business School Disagree 5
Unemployment depends on macro policies.
Bio/Vote History
         
Prendergast Canice Prendergast Chicago Booth Agree 9
Bio/Vote History
         
Reichlin Lucrezia Reichlin London Business School Disagree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Repullo Rafael Repullo CEMFI Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Rey Hélène Rey London Business School Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Schoar Antoinette Schoar MIT Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Van Reenen John Van Reenen MIT Disagree 6
Hard to predict impact of technology on jobs with our current levels of knowledge. Innovation often has positive as well as negative effects
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         
Vickers John Vickers Oxford Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Voth Hans-Joachim Voth University of Zurich Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Weder di Mauro Beatrice Weder di Mauro Gutenberg University Mainz and INSEAD Uncertain 10
Bio/Vote History
         
Whelan Karl Whelan University College Dublin Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Wyplosz Charles Wyplosz The Graduate Institute Geneva Disagree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Zilibotti Fabrizio Zilibotti Universität Zurich Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         

Question B Participant Responses

Participant University Vote Confidence Comment Bio/Vote History
Aghion Philippe Aghion Harvard Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Allen Franklin Allen Imperial College London Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Antras Pol Antras Harvard Strongly Agree 9
It seems pretty clear that the potential gains would outweigh the losses.
Bio/Vote History
         
Baldwin Richard Baldwin The Graduate Institute Geneva Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Besley Timothy J. Besley LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Blanchard Olivier Blanchard Peterson Institute Agree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Bloom Nicholas Bloom Stanford Strongly Agree 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Blundell Richard William Blundell University College London Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Bénassy-Quéré Agnès Bénassy-Quéré Paris School of Economics Agree 7
In theory yes. However the workers want jobs, not transfers. Very difficult during the transition.
Bio/Vote History
         
Carletti Elena Carletti Bocconi Disagree 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Danthine Jean-Pierre Danthine Paris School of Economics Agree 3
Compensating the losers will require fiscal adaptations in order to improve the scope for redistribution
Bio/Vote History
         
De Grauwe Paul De Grauwe LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Eeckhout Jan Eeckhout University College London Uncertain 8
It all depends how the ownership of the AI technology is distributed. AI by itself may be very effective at concentrating ownership.
Bio/Vote History
         
Fehr Ernst Fehr Universität Zurich Strongly Agree 9
Bio/Vote History
         
Freixas Xavier Freixas Universitat Pompeu Fabra Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Fuchs-Schündeln Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Galí Jordi Galí Universitat Pompeu Fabra Uncertain 7
True in theory. In practice, it will depend on the transfers system in place and other elements determined by the political process
Bio/Vote History
         
Garicano Luis Garicano LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Giavazzi Francesco Giavazzi Bocconi Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Griffith Rachel Griffith University of Manchester Agree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Guerrieri Veronica Guerrieri Chicago Booth Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Guiso Luigi Guiso Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance Uncertain 1
Bio/Vote History
         
Hellwig Martin Hellwig Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods Uncertain 6
The answer depends on how the various frictions in the labour market play out. No general answer is available.
Bio/Vote History
         
Honohan Patrick Honohan Trinity College Dublin Agree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Kleven Henrik Kleven Princeton Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Krahnen Jan Pieter Krahnen Goethe University Frankfurt Agree 8
Absolutely. But mind the term "could". Whether or not it happens depends critically on fundamental adjustments of our societal architecture.
Bio/Vote History
         
Krusell Per Krusell Stockholm University Strongly Agree 9
If it is profitable to employ robots it is very likely more efficient. So almost by definition they increase production efficiency.
Bio/Vote History
         
Kőszegi Botond Kőszegi Central European University Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
La Ferrara Eliana La Ferrara Bocconi Uncertain 5
The key point is whether there is political will to redistribute these benefits
Bio/Vote History
         
Leuz Christian Leuz Chicago Booth Agree 4
Assuming firms generally make tech investments when NPV positive, gains should be large enough. But not clear that the transfers take place.
Bio/Vote History
         
Meghir Costas Meghir Yale Agree 6
Again - depends on the institutional structure
Bio/Vote History
         
Neary Peter Neary Oxford Agree 7
I agree in principle, though compensation rarely occurs in practice and would require Nordic levels of income support and retraining.
Bio/Vote History
         
O'Rourke Kevin O'Rourke Oxford No Opinion
Kaldor-Hicks: seriously?
Bio/Vote History
         
Pagano Marco Pagano Università di Napoli Federico II Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Pastor Lubos Pastor Chicago Booth Strongly Agree 4
Higher productivity means a bigger pie
Bio/Vote History
         
Persson Torsten Persson Stockholm University Agree 4
That compensation is possible in principle does not mean that it is likely to take place in practice.
Bio/Vote History
         
Pissarides Christopher Pissarides LSE Strongly Agree 10
There will be substantial productivity gains but government needs to take action to destribute them across negatively affetced groups
Bio/Vote History
         
Portes Richard Portes London Business School Agree 6
The question is not whether they could be compensated, but whether they will. Experience suggests not.
Bio/Vote History
         
Prendergast Canice Prendergast Chicago Booth Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Reichlin Lucrezia Reichlin London Business School Disagree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Repullo Rafael Repullo CEMFI Uncertain 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Rey Hélène Rey London Business School Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Schoar Antoinette Schoar MIT Agree 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Van Reenen John Van Reenen MIT Strongly Agree 9
Technology expands the economic pie, so definitely offers chances to share greater wealth
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         
Vickers John Vickers Oxford Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Voth Hans-Joachim Voth University of Zurich Agree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Weder di Mauro Beatrice Weder di Mauro Gutenberg University Mainz and INSEAD Agree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Whelan Karl Whelan University College Dublin Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Wyplosz Charles Wyplosz The Graduate Institute Geneva Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Zilibotti Fabrizio Zilibotti Universität Zurich Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         

About the European IGM Economic Experts Panel

This panel explores the views of European economists on vital public policy issues. It does this by polling them on important policy questions, by including a way for them to explain their answers briefly if they wish, and by disseminating these responses directly to the public in a simple format.

To that end, our panel was chosen to include distinguished experts with a keen interest in public policy from the main areas of economics, to be geographically diverse, and to include older and younger scholars. As with the IGM’s US panel, the experts are all outstanding researchers in their fields. The panel includes recipients of top national and international prizes in economics, fellows of the Econometric society and the European Economic Association, members of distinguished national and international policymaking bodies in Europe, recipients of significant grants for economic research, highly accomplished affiliates and program directors of the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the National Bureau of Economic Research, and past and current editors of leading academic journals in the profession. This approach not only provides a set of panelists whose names will be familiar to other economists and the media, but also delivers a group with impeccable qualifications to speak on public policy matters in Europe and beyond.

Questions for the European IGM Economic Experts Panel are emailed individually to all members of the panel. They are phrased as statements with which one can agree or disagree. The experts are also asked how confident they are in their knowledge of the issue associated with the question (10 being highest). Each panelist responds electronically at his or her convenience. Panelists may consult whatever resources they like before answering. They may also include brief comments with their responses, or provide links to relevant sources.

It is important to explain one aspect of our voting process. In some instances a panelist may neither agree nor disagree with a statement, and there can be two very different reasons for this. One case occurs when an economist knows a lot about a topic and yet sees the evidence on the exact claim at hand as ambiguous. In such cases our panelists vote "uncertain". A second case relates to statements on topics so far removed from the economist's knowledge that he or she does not feel well placed to judge. In this case, our panelists vote "no opinion".

Panelists suggest many of the questions themselves. Members of the public are also welcome to suggest questions (see link below). Although IGM faculty members are responsible for deciding the final version of each question, we send a draft of the question to the panel in advance and invite them to point out problems with the wording if they see any. This process helps us to reduce vagueness or problems of interpretation.

The panel data are copyrighted by the Initiative on Global Markets and will be analyzed for an article to appear in a peer-reviewed journal.

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