The Great Decoupling: How Information Technology Is Affecting Productivity, Wages and Employment

Saturday, 15 February 2014
Water Tower (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Erik Brynjolfsson , Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Cambridge, MA
Historically, productivity, wages and employment have all risen together. But in the past 15 years, they have become decoupled: productivity is at record levels, yet median wages have stagnated and the employment/population ratio has fallen. There is no economic law that technological progress will help everyone, or even most people. In particular, recent technologies have created diverging sets of economic winners and losers. The pace and scale of these technological advances are likely to accelerate in the coming years, as will the economic consequences.