Technology and Engineering

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Fernanda Brollo, Era Dabla-Norris, Ruud de Mooij, Daniel Garcia-Macia, Tibor Hanappi, Li Liu, and Anh D. M. Nguyen
Generative artificial intelligence (gen AI) holds immense potential to boost productivity growth and advance public service delivery, but it also raises profound concerns about massive labor disruptions and rising inequality. This note discusses how fiscal policies can be employed to steer the technology and its deployment in ways that serve humanity best while cushioning the negative labor market and distributional effects to broaden the gains. Given the vast uncertainty about the nature, impact, and speed of developments in gen AI, governments should take an agile approach that prepares them for both business as usual and highly disruptive scenarios.
Fernanda Brollo
This paper investigates the impact of automation on the U.S. labor market from 2000 to 2007, specifically examining whether more generous social protection programs can mitigate negative effects. Following Acemoglu and Restrepo (2020), the study finds that areas with higher robot adoption reduced employment and wages, in particular for workers without collegue degree. Notably, the paper exploits differences in social protection generosity across states and finds that areas with more generous unemployment insurance (UI) alleviated the negative effects on wages, especially for less-skilled workers. The results suggest that UI allowed displaced workers to find better matches The findings emphasize the importance of robust social protection policies in addressing the challenges posed by automation, contributing valuable insights for policymakers.
Angelo D’Andrea, Patrick Hitayezu, Kangni R Kpodar, Nicola Limodio, and Andrea F Presbitero
Combining administrative data on credit, internet penetration and a land reform in Rwanda, this paper shows that the complementarity between technology and law can overcome financial frictions. Leveraging quasi-experimental variation in 3G availability from lightning strikes and incidental coverage, we show that mobile connectivity steers borrowers from microfinance to commercial banks and improves loan terms. These effects are partly due to the role of 3G internet in facilitating the acquisition of land titles from the reform, used as a collateral for bank loans and mortgages. We quantify that the collateral's availability mediates 35% of the overall effect of mobile internet on credit and 80% for collateralized loans.
Mariarosaria Comunale and Andrea Manera
We review the literature on the effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption and the ongoing regulatory efforts concerning this technology. Economic research encompasses growth, employment, productivity, and income inequality effects, while regulation covers market competition, data privacy, copyright, national security, ethics concerns, and financial stability. We find that: (i) theoretical research agrees that AI will affect most occupations and transform growth, but empirical findings are inconclusive on employment and productivity effects; (ii) regulation has focused primarily on topics not explored by the academic literature; (iii) across countries, regulations differ widely in scope and approaches and face difficult trade-offs.
Manuk Ghazanchyan, Alexei Goumilevski, and Alex Mourmouras
This paper examines the welfare effects of automation in neoclassical growth models with and without intergenerational transfers. In a standard overlapping generations model without such transfers, improvements in automation technologies that would lower welfare can be mitigated by shifts in labor supply related to demographics or pandemics. With perfect intergenerational transfers based on altruism, automation could raise the well-being of all generations. With imperfect altruism, fiscal transfers (universal basic income) and public policies to expand access to education opportunities can alleviate much of the negative effect of automation.