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Technology and the Future of European Employment

Edited by Pascal Petit and Luc Soete

What is the potential of the new information and communication technologies? This book assesses the relationship between technological change and employment in all its dimensions, focusing on contemporary economies in Europe. The authors discuss patterns of growth, and the type of employment that countries might expect to be created following the introduction of these new technologies.
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Chapter 16: Policy conclusions: on the future of European employment

Pascal Petit and Luc Soete

Extract

Pascal Petit and Luc Soete The overview of the contemporary aspects of technical change and their implications for employment growth and displacement – what we described in our introduction as the employment dynamics – presented in this book reveals at first sight some grim features for Europe. On the surface, the diversity of institutions and experiences appears to have limited the chances for Europe to gather endogenously its own growth momentum and propel it along an autonomous expansion path. The same diversity appears also to have seriously hampered Europe’s reaction to external changes, whether on product, skilled labour or financial markets, or in the development and commercialization of new technologies. Yet it is obvious that diversity may also have its advantages. It might lead to more creative responses to external challenges and help in fostering new, different, possibly promising, endogenous developments. And Europe has of course undergone changes in all its dimensions and components over the last two decades. Many of these have barely had their full impact yet on European society and on the many, very different economic, social and cultural nations and regions of which it is composed. In this concluding chapter, we provide some further insights where the findings of the research brought together in this book might help one to strike a balance between the advantages and disadvantages of such an evolving Europe. From this perspective, great care must be taken in assessing the time horizons and time lags that are implicit in discussing any prospective view. A...

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