International Labour Review, Vol. 158 (2019), No. 4

Whither the evolution of the contemporary social fabric? New technologies and old socio-economic trends

This article considers whether societies are witnessing another industrial revolution in the light of an assessment of the impact of technological change on today’s socio-economic fabric, especially with respect to employment, income distribution, working conditions and labour relations. The authors argue that the processes of innovation and the spread of what they term “intelligent automation” are likely to exacerbate incumbent patterns of uneven income distribution and power, some of which existed well before the arrival of the technologies concerned, while others have emerged over the past 30 to 40 years. They venture to consider policy implications on the basis of such developments.


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