At DG ECFIN's Annual Research Conference held on 19 November, about 100 participants from research and policy-making circles discussed the theme: "The productivity challenge: jobs and incomes in the dawning era of intelligent robots".
- economic policy | financing policy | Economic and Monetary Union | euro
- Live streaming available
- 19 Nov 2018,
08:45 AM - 09:00 AM CET
Welcome and introduction: Marco Buti (DG ECFIN)
- 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM CET
Distinguished ECFIN Lecture: Joel Mokyr (Northwestern University)Knowledge, Institutions and the Origins of the Great Enrichment
- 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM CET
- 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM CET
Session I: Trends and drivers of productivity growth
- Bart Van Ark et al., The Conference Board and University of Groningen Productivity and growth in the midst of the digital transformation age: current observations in a long-term perspective
- Sandra Leitner and Robert Stehrer, WIIW Vienna The automatisation challenge meets the demographic challenge
- Reinhilde Veugelers, KULeuven; BruegelTrends at the frontier in corporate R&D: facts, prospects and policies
- 12:30 PM - 02:00 PM CET
- 02:00 PM - 02:15 PM CET
Keynote Address: Pierre Moscovici (European Commission), tbc
- 02:15 PM - 03:45 PM CET
Session II: The economics of digitalised and robotised economies
- Eric J. Bartelsman, Vrije Universiteit, AmsterdamUnderstanding production technology
- Jens Suedekum, DICE DüsseldorfRobots and the income distribution
- Georg Graetz, University of UppsalaIndividual and policy adjustments to occupational decline
- 03:45 PM - 04:15 PM CET
- 04:15 PM - 05:45 PM CET
Session III: Productivity and the regional cohesion challenge
- Kurt Huebner, University of British Columbia, VancouverTFP and the quality of social institutions: institutional complementarities as key drivers of balanced innovation
- Andrés Rodriguez-Pose, London School of EconomicsThe productivity challenge for European regions
- Berlaymont BuildingBerlaymont Building, Room Schuman, Belgium
Professor Joel Mokyr (Northwestern University) started the day with his distinguished ECFIN lecture on “Knowledge, Institutions and the Origins of the Great Enrichment”. Based on his famous book “The Culture of Growth” he stressed the need for institutions conducive to a sustained flow of intellectual innovation and useful knowledge. From this perspective, maintaining open, contestable and competitive markets for ideas and propositional knowledge with minimal entry barriers is absolutely crucial.
Three subsequent sessions were devoted to specific sub-themes looking into (i) trends and drivers of productivity growth; (ii) the economics of digitalized and robotized economies; and (iii) productivity and the regional cohesion challenge. Topics addressed included, inter alia, the productivity paradox of apparently rapid technological progress yet coupled with low aggregate productivity growth, trends in the corporate R&D landscape, labour market implications – probably with income distribution rather than technological unemployment as the main challenge-, and regional productivity policies, in particular for those hitting the middle-income trap.
European commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen addressed the audience dwelling on how the ongoing digital transformation (the "Fourth Industrial Revolution") is reshaping the economy and society by modifying patterns of production and delivery of goods and services. He emphasised that this transformation transcends national boundaries and, thus, it is vital to work towards a coherent European approach and for EU to have a strong presence and investment in technology and to maintain leadership.