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Article

Richard B. Freeman

The purpose of this paper is to examine the likely impact of AI robotics technology on the labor market through the lens of comparative advantage.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the likely impact of AI robotics technology on the labor market through the lens of comparative advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

The first section reviews the recent success of AI in outperforming humans in cognitive intense activities such as Go, poker and other strategic games, which portends a shift in comparative advantage in human brain power work to machines. It notes the potential for a portfolio of specialized computer algorithms to compete with human general intelligence in work. The analysis contributes to the debate between economists dubious about claims that AI robotics will disrupt work and futurists who expect many jobs to be fully automated in coming years. It advances three “laws of robo-economics” to guide thinking about the new technologies and presents evidence that growing robot intensity has begun to impact the job market.

Findings

The paper finds that the case for AI robotics substantially changing the world of work and the distribution of income is more compelling than the case that it will have similar impacts on wages and employment as past technological changes. It advances an ownership solution to spread the benefits of AI robot-driven automation widely.

Originality/value

To the extent that who owns the robots rules the world, it argues for a concerted social effort to widen the “who” in ownership from the few to the many. It reviews policies to expand employee ownership of their own firm and of the stream of revenue via profit-sharing and gain-sharing bonuses. But the paper notes that ensuring that growth of AI robotics benefits all through ownership will require expansion of workers’ and citizens’ stake in business broadly, through collective investment via pension funds, individual investment in mutual funds and development of sovereign wealth funds.

Details

Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-7641

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Article

David Macarov

The author argues that we must stop and take a look at what our insistence on human labour as the basis of our society is doing to us, and begin to search for possible…

Abstract

The author argues that we must stop and take a look at what our insistence on human labour as the basis of our society is doing to us, and begin to search for possible alternatives. We need the vision and the courage to aim for the highest level of technology attainable for the widest possible use in both industry and services. We need financial arrangements that will encourage people to invent themselves out of work. Our goal, the article argues, must be the reduction of human labour to the greatest extent possible, to free people for more enjoyable, creative, human activities.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 8 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article

Darlene Himick

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the accounting notion of “human depreciation” helped the defined benefit pension plan emerge as the dominant means of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the accounting notion of “human depreciation” helped the defined benefit pension plan emerge as the dominant means of dealing with an aging workforce in the first half of twentieth century USA.

Design/methodology/approach

The study examines historical material to identify the intersection of several different practices and knowledges that came together in the early decades of the 1900s to permit human depreciation in 1949 to be used to formally link aging employees to their employers.

Findings

In the early part of the twentieth century, humans and machines were constructed as parts of a single productive system, human traits were studied in order to increase their machine-like capacities, in the hope of creating a more efficient industrial economy. At the same time, fatigue associated with this industrial nation was constructing the older worker as subject to decline, hence opening the door to a linkage to physical and economic depreciation.

Social implications

Reveals that the language of accounting can be utilized by non-accountants and outside organizational boundaries to effect public policy and play a constitutive role. Thus, who is able to use accounting conventions is important in understanding how accounting shapes social settings.

Originality/value

Human depreciation”, used by the Steel Industry Board in 1949 to assign responsibility to employers for the depreciation of their human assets, has been left unexamined despite being cited as one of the greatest contributors to the growth of industrial pensions in the USA. The study examines accounting as an interface among and between the organizational and “non-accounting” spheres.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Fatma Güven‐Lisaniler, Sevin Uğural and Leopoldo Rodríguez

To discuss the gender dimension of migration and human rights, and to provide an assessment of how to improve human rights protections for migrant women workers in…

Abstract

Purpose

To discuss the gender dimension of migration and human rights, and to provide an assessment of how to improve human rights protections for migrant women workers in janitorial services and night clubs across registered and unregistered migrant women workers in North Cyprus.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey is done to establish the employment conditions of migrant women workers in both sectors. The conditions are evaluated to assess the compliance with North Cyprus labor and immigration legislation and international human rights protocols.

Findings

Registered and unregistered segment of the janitorial services and unregistered segment of sex industry are dominated by Turkish migrant women. The registered part of sex industry is dominated by Eastern European migrant women mostly due to the legislative framework within which these two activities operate, primarily with respect to immigration requirements and also as it pertains to the remunerative potential of activity. No evidences of human rights abuses of Turkish immigrants in either segment of the cleaning services sector are founded but lack of knowledge of their conditions in unregistered sex work. Eastern European migrants working in the registered segment of the sex industry suffer human rights and basic migrant rights abuses at the hands of the state and the employer.

Research limitations/implications

Lack of knowledge of Turkish migrant women workers' conditions in unregistered segment of sex work limits the findings of the research. A survey across unregistered Turkish sex workers is suggested for future research.

Practical implications

Legalization of commercial sex among registered konsomatrices would provide an opportunity for labor rights legislation to be fully applied to their primary income‐earning activities. Most of the human and immigrant rights violations are the result of legislation applied to nightclubs and work visas for konsomatrices. Improvements in the legislation and work visas for konsomatrices would guarantee the women to have access to assistance in case of human rights violations.

Originality/value

The paper provides practical suggestion for the improvement of human rights protections for migrant women workers in North Cyprus.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article

Inés P. Murillo

The main objective of this paper is to analyse the link between human capital depreciation and the educational level of Spanish salaried workers.

Abstract

Purpose

The main objective of this paper is to analyse the link between human capital depreciation and the educational level of Spanish salaried workers.

Design/methodology/approach

Wage equations are estimated by sector and occupation, following the empirical framework proposed by Neuman and Weiss. Data in this study refer to the Spanish labour market, using two cross‐sectional employee‐firm matched data.

Findings

The estimates provided in this paper suggest that human capital depreciation rates are not homogeneous for the whole sample; in contrast, they vary across educational levels, being greater as the workers' school attainment increases.

Research limitations/implications

The main restriction of the paper is the limited availability of quality longitudinal data to estimate human capital depreciation.

Practical implications

Knowledge acquired by workers may quickly become obsolete in a context of technological change. Thus, the paper's main findings support the need for ongoing training programs to update workers' skills to changing market requirements.

Originality/value

The added value of this paper is two‐fold. On the one hand, returns to education and human capital depreciation for the Spanish labour force are estimated using a pseudo‐panel created from two cross‐sectional data bases. On the other hand, earnings equations are estimated by sector and occupation in order to calculate human capital depreciation rates; this procedure allows the authors to take into account the worker's occupation and their level of education as well as technological differences associated with their job.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article

Jinqi Jiang, Guangsheng Zhang, Diming Qi and Mi Zhou

Whether training contributes to stabilizing employment among rural migrant workers in cities remains unclear. Based on this gap in the research, the purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Whether training contributes to stabilizing employment among rural migrant workers in cities remains unclear. Based on this gap in the research, the purpose of this paper is to examine how on-the-job training affects rural migrant workers’ job mobility in China.

Design/methodology/approach

By using randomly sampled survey data on migrant workers in Liaoning province in 2014, the authors applied a logistic model and survival analysis to explore the effect of on-the-job training on migrant workers’ job turnover and understand workers’ job change behaviour after receiving on-the-job training.

Findings

The results showed that job training provided by employers can significantly reduce migrant workers’ turnover by increasing specific human capital. By contrast, training provided by the government or migrant workers themselves focuses on increasing general human capital and thus fails to reduce job turnover. Moreover, further discussion revealed that, in the trained group, those people with a short tenure and low wage in the first job, people without any skills before migration, male migrant workers, and people that work in medium-sized and large cities have a higher probability of changing jobs. These findings suggest that to tackle the high rate of job mobility among rural migrant workers, firms should entice this labour to train by adjusting their internal training mechanisms, and local governments should subsidize firms that provide on-the-job training for rural migrant workers to help share the costs and risks of training. Moreover, for sake of reducing job changing among those trained workers, firms even should take actions to protect their labour rights of migrant workers and to ensure that they receive equal treatment to their urban counterparts.

Originality/value

This paper makes three contributions to the field of job mobility in China. First, it explores the mechanism between on-the-job training and rural migrant workers’ job mobility. Second, it empirically analyses the effect of on-the-job training on migrant workers’ job mobility as well as the different effects of general and specific training. Lastly, its results have important policy implications for the employment stability of rural migrant workers.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article

Peter Buell Hirsch

The purpose of this paper is to point to some emerging workplace issues relating to the increasing collaboration between human and robot workers. As the number of human

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to point to some emerging workplace issues relating to the increasing collaboration between human and robot workers. As the number of human workers shrinks and that of robots increases, how will this change the dynamics of the workplace and human worker motivation?

Design/methodology/approach

The approach of this paper is to examine recent academic, business and media writings on the subject of artificial intelligence and robotics in the workplace to identify gaps in our understanding of the new hybrid work environment.

Findings

What the author has found is that although there are numerous voices expressing concerns about the replacement of human workers by robots, there has not as yet been a substantive study of the impact on human workers of sharing their work life with robots in this environment.

Research limitations/implications

The findings in this paper are limited by the fact that they are drawn from a review of the secondary literature rather than from primary research and are therefore speculative and anecdotal.

Practical implications

The practical implications of the findings are to suggest that it is time to establish a systematic and standardized method for analyzing and measuring the impact on human workers of operating in an environment increasingly populated by automated co-workers.

Social implications

The author suspects that the social implications will be to suggest that as a human society we will need to establish psychologically and culturally valid means for coping with this new work environment, and the author believes some of the findings may well prove counter intuitive within the social context of work.

Originality/value

The author does not believe there is any substantial work addressing the social, psychological or cultural implications of humans working besides robots on a daily basis.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Work in the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-578-8

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Book part

Xin Jin

This chapter studies the negative signals associated with nonpromotion. I first show theoretically that, when workers' productivity rises little with additional years on…

Abstract

This chapter studies the negative signals associated with nonpromotion. I first show theoretically that, when workers' productivity rises little with additional years on the same job level, the negative signal associated with nonpromotion leads to wage decreases. On the other hand, when additional job-level tenure leads to a sizable increase in productivity, workers' wages increase. I then test my model's predictions using the personnel records from a large US firm from 1970–1988. I find a clear hump-shaped wage-job-tenure profile for workers who stay at the same job level, which supports my model's prediction.

Details

Change at Home, in the Labor Market, and On the Job
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-933-5

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Article

Javed Siddiqui and Shahzad Uddin

The purpose of this paper is to examine the state-business nexus in responses to human rights violations in businesses and questions the efficacy of the UN guiding…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the state-business nexus in responses to human rights violations in businesses and questions the efficacy of the UN guiding principles on human rights in businesses, in particular in the ready-made garments (RMG) industry in Bangladesh. Drawing on Cohen’s notion of “denial” and Black’s (2008) legitimacy and accountability relationships of state and non-state actors, the study seeks to explain why such “soft” global regulations remain inadequate.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical work for this paper is based on the authors’ participation in two multiple-stakeholder advisory consultation meetings for the RMG sector in Bangladesh and 11 follow-up interviews. This is supplemented by documentary evidence on human rights disasters, responses of the state and non-state actors and human rights reports published in national and international newspapers.

Findings

The paper provides clear evidence that the state-business nexus perpetuates human rights disasters. The study also shows that the Bangladeshi state, ruled by family-led political parties, is more inclined to protect businesses that cause human rights disasters than to ensure human rights in businesses. The economic conditions of the RMG industry and accountability and legitimacy relationships between state and non-state actors have provided the necessary background for RMG owners to continue to violate the safety and security of the workplace and maintain inhumane working conditions.

Research limitations/implications

Complex state politics, including family, kinship and wealthy supporters, and economic circumstances have serious implications for the efficacy of the UN guiding principle on human rights for business. This paper calls for broader political and economic changes, nationally and internationally.

Originality/value

The study highlights the perpetuation of corporate human rights abuses by the state-business nexus, and indicates that human rights issues continue to be ignored through a discourse of denial. This is explained in terms of legitimacy and accountability relationships between state and non-state actors, bounded by complex political and economic conditions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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