The Wilberforce Society | Technology Unemployment: Transition to an Entrepreneurial Economy
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Technology Unemployment: Transition to an Entrepreneurial Economy

Writers: Shachi Amdekar, Jack Sibley, Vivek Midha
Editor: Daniil Miroshnichenko
Contributors: Matija Franklin, Kartik Vira, Chia Jeng Yang

In this paper, we propose potential solutions to the problem of technological unemployment in the UK. We start with an examination of the phenomenon of technological unemployment in literature as seen in economic models, along with empirical evidence pertaining directly to the UK. Then, we evaluate Britain’s current educational, welfare and innovation policies in relation to coping with technological unemployment. Finally, we set out our proposals for the respective policies before finishing off with the concluding remarks.

With the advent of machine learning and big data technology will destroy jobs on a larger scale and for a longer period than ever before. As it stands, we are not ready for these changes. Britain has a historical record of underperforming in both entrepreneurial education and innovation, and the current welfare system is maladapted to such a shift in the nature of unemployment. The measures outlined below seek to maximise the share of the population involving in and profiting from entrepreneurial activity, as it emphasises creativity and innovation, traits that are hard to automate. We propose equipping people with the knowledge and the financial backdrop to start their own business. We also suggest stimulating product innovation in the hope of creating more jobs faster. It is important to note that our proposals interlace: entrepreneurial education will enable R&D to be converted into new business opportunities, financially supported by a universal basic income. With the government being the largest stakeholder in education, welfare and promoting innovation, this paper naturally focuses on what policies the government and its departments should pursue in response to rising unemployment.

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