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Student Research Guide: Structural Unemployment and Basic Income Policies: Top Resources

by Natalie S.

Top Resources

Autor, D. H. (2015). Why are there still so many jobs? The history and future of workplace automation. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29(3), 3–30.

This source discusses how advances in technology effect employment in jobs that require high to low skills. This article is important to my topic because the effects of automation on jobs, especially lower paid jobs, is a key point in the argument for enacting a universal basic income, or UBI. This article is lengthy and detailed, making it a great source to receive information about automation from. The author of this article is an economist and a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Baranes, A. (2020). Automation, financialization, and institutional change: Challenges for progressive policy. Journal of Economic Issues, 54(2), 495–502.

This source explains the links between the failure of being able to adapt well to institutional adjustments and the increase of technological unemployment. This article connects to my topic because structural unemployment is not only is caused by mass automation, but by the failure of institutional adjustment. This article provides insight on the process of institutional adjustments, which is the only source to do so in my bibliography. The author, Avraham Izhar Baranes, is a professor of business at Elmhurst University.

Elliott, S. W. (2018). Artificial intelligence, robots, and work: Is this time different? As technological innovation has eliminated many types of jobs over the past few centuries, economies have evolved to create new jobs that have kept workers well employed. Is there reason to worry that the future will be different? Issues in Science and Technology, 35(1), 40+. 208&sid=GIC&xid =384113c7

This article explains how jobs are to be affected by technological advancements based on worker’s skills. The quality and length of education a worker has increases their skills, which opens up job opportunities where technology has not advanced enough to take over. This source connects to my topic because the lack of skills in the United States workforce is one cause of technological unemployment. This source provides insight on the  skills of workers that my other sources did not discuss. The author, Stuart W. Elliott, was a fellow researcher in economics at Carnegie Mellon University and is now a scholar at The National Academics of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Fleischer, M., & Hemel, D. (2020). The architecture of a basic income. The University of Chicago Law Review, 87(3), 625–710.

This article explains the mechanisms of UBI and what needs to be defined in the conversations about enacting a UBI. This article is a great place to read about UBI because it is written to inform readers not to persuade them. This source is important to my topic because it defines what UBI is and what its key building blocks are. This is the only source I have that is focused on what makes a good UBI proposal and what appeals to people in a UBI proposal. The authors are currently professors of law, Miranda Perry Fleischer at The University of San Diego, and Daniel Hemel at The University of Chicago.

Goldin, I. (2018). Five reasons why universal basic income is a bad idea. FT.Com.

This source provides evidence that a universal basic income would not be a stable safety net due to financial and social aspects. The source is short but contains condensed information on the most popular positions of not enacting a UBI that my other sources do not discuss about as much. This source also shows how social changes in human interaction could occur with enacting a UBI, which is not mentioned in my other sources. This source connects to my topic because a widely supported proposal of a universal basic income relies on the continued conversation with opposing sides. The author, Ian Goldin, is a Professor of globalization and development at the University of Oxford.

Lazear, E. P. (2012, Sep 04). There is no 'structural' unemployment problem. Wall Street Journal.

This article discusses that there is not a structural unemployment problem, but instead an economic recovery problem. This article is helpful to my topic because it describes another view on structural unemployment. This view is not one that my other sources agree with or support, which helped me develop my research and position. The author, Edward P. Lazear, was a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and had served as a chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers for three years.

Painter, A. (2016). A universal basic income: The answer to poverty, insecurity, and health inequality? BMJ: British Medical Journal, 355.

This source focuses on several UBI experiments in the United States. This is important for my topic because the results were mostly about the well-being of those who received a basic income increased. This helped me understand that UBI can also affect the health of those receiving it. This article includes details about experiments which my other sources have mentioned. 

Schlogl, L., & Sumner, A. (2020). Disrupted Development and the Future of Inequality in the Age of Automation. Springer International Publishing.

This book is about the impact mass automation has and will have on jobs and the workforce. This source is connected to my topic because the negative affects of mass automation is an argument for why a basic income should be enacted. This article includes an idea for a ‘robot tax’ which would help fund a UBI, this is an idea that has not been mentioned as much in my other sources. One author, Lukas Schlogl, is a political scientist at The University of Vienna, while the other, Andy Summer, is a professor of International development at King’s College London.

Spencer, D. (2018). Fear and hope in an age of mass automation: debating the future of work. New Technology, Work, and Employment, 33(1), 1–12. 2105

This source is about how some people fear structural unemployment, while others welcome it based on the predictions of what the future of work will look like. This article is important to my topic because the ideas of what the future of work effect the conversation for solutions to technological unemployment. This article is the only source I have that provides a more optimistic view of mass automation, like worker’s having creative freedom. My other sources usually provide a darker view of the future due to mass automation, the hope for the future is definitely something to think about. The author, David A. Spencer, is a professor at The University of Leeds.

We really do have structural unemployment problems. (2012). Wall Street Journal.

This article claims that there is a serious structural unemployment problem. This sources was written in response to Edward P. Lazear's wall street journal article that claimed that structural unemployment was not real. This article is connected to my topic because it is written to oppose the argument that technological unemployment is not a problem. This is something that my other sources did not discuss because they assumed that the reader already knew that structural unemployment was real.

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