Martin Allen reviews The Second Machine Age. Work Progress, and Prosperity in a time of Brilliant Technologies
Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s The Second Machine Age ( Norton 2014, ISBN 978-0-393-23935-5 ), is an important contribution to the debate about the effects of technological change on the workplace and the changing shape of the occupational structure.
Advances in computer technology are seen as being responsible for the disappearance of what were considered to be ‘routine’ jobs with Goos and Manning’s 2003 paper http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20002/1/Lousy_and_Lovely_Jobs_the_Rising_Polarization_of_Work_in_Britain.pdf about the polarisation of the occupational structure providing the basis for what is now commonly referred to as the ‘hour-glass’ economy, where increased employment in cognitively-based professional work, but also the expansion of new labour intensive unskilled occupations in service sectors still dependent on personal contact, has resulted in a ‘hollowing out’ of the middle. But Brynjolfsson and McAfee now argue that even the more…
View original post 716 more words