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Abstract

New technologies have been a key driver of labor market change in recent decades. There are renewed concerns that technological developments in areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence will destroy jobs and create political upheaval. This article reviews the vibrant debate about the economic consequences of recent technological change and then discusses research about how digitalization may affect political participation, vote choice, and policy preferences. It is increasingly well established that routine workers have been the main losers of recent technological change and disproportionately support populist parties. However, at the same time, digitalization also creates a large group of economic winners who support the political status quo. The mechanisms connecting technology-related workplace risks to political behavior and policy demands are less well understood. Voters may fail to fully comprehend the relative importance of different causes of structural economic change and misattribute blame to other factors. We conclude with a list of pressing research questions.

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2022-05-12
2024-04-16
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