Automation and IT cost 4 times as many U.S. jobs as immigration and trade, wrote Farok J. Contractor in YaleGlobal Online

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Thursday, June 15, 2017
New Brunswick, NJ

YaleGlobal Online

Nationalistic politicians rising around the globe, in varying degrees, espouse an "our country first" mentality displaying skepticism or outright hostility toward globalization.

Globalization's ills can be described not only in terms of loss of jobs through imports and multinational companies, but also the transmission and blending of ideas, lifestyles, cultures and phobias communicated by the internet. In 2017, 3.5 billion humans access the internet. Bandwidth, less than 4.5 terabits per second in 2005, has escalated to 400 terabits per second.

Employees in the US and Europe work harder and are more apprehensive because of greater competition in the labor market, aided by a relentless drive for productivity gains.

There is a psychological letdown because after two centuries of economic progress, generations can no longer assume they will be better off than their parents.

The angst is real, though politicians grossly overstate diagnoses by blaming international trade, offshoring of production and immigrants taking jobs. For every one U.S. job lost through international trade from 1980 to 2016, researchers conclude that about four jobs have been lost because of automation, robotics, information technology and other productivity boosters.

Farok J. Contractor is a professor in the Management and Global Business department at Rutgers Business School. He has researched foreign direct investment for three decades and also taught at the Wharton School, Copenhagen Business School, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Nanyang Technological University, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade and other schools and conducted executive seminars in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia. He produces a blog on Unbiased Perspectives on Global Business Issues

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TAGS: Faculty research Farok Contractor Management and Global Business Thought Leadership