Morning Must-Read: Jared Bernstein: Where’s the Automation in the Productivity Accounts?
Jared Bernstein: Where’s the Automation in the Productivity Accounts?: “The pace of productivity growth has decelerated….
…There’s considerable speculation that the pace at which machines are displacing workers has accelerated…. The robots-are-coming advocates need to explain why a phenomenon that should be associated with accelerating productivity is allegedly occurring over a fairly protracted period where the trend in output per hour is going the other way. A shave with Occam’s razor would lead one to conclude that over this weak expansion characterized by large output gaps, a simpler explanation for decelerating productivity would be weak demand and its corollary, weak capital investment…. Until someone can convince me what’s wrong with the above argument, I don’t want to hear that automation-induced productivity gains are precluding full employment. The problem isn’t productivity; it’s negligent policy.