Natalia Faraoni Tommaso Ferraresi Nicola Sciclone

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The aim of this paper is to explore the potential impact of the adoption of the latest waves of digital technologies (commonly referred to as “Industry 4.0µ) upon employment trends, focusing on how the tasks performed by workers might be affected. The literature on the future of jobs and on the changing nature of innovation and work (so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolutionµ) has blossomed. For instance, some authors find that around 47% of total US employment is potentially automatable over the next decades. Some others, when estimating the share of jobs at risk of automation for 21 OECD countries, obtain very different results (9% of jobs are at risk in the USA). We suggest a different perspective by considering not how many and what kind of jobs could disappear, but: (i) what are the potential benefits of the adoption of ICT on employment; (ii) whether the Italian labour market is ready for this shift in the technological paradigm; and (iii) under what conditions. In order to achieve our research goals, we implement two complementary approaches. First, we provide an overview of the knowledge, skills, and tasks currently required in order to pursuit each profession in Italy and in the USA, based on the INAPP and O*NET datasets, respectively. In order to analyse the databases, we identify two different sets of variables, so as to capture the degree of automation/substitution, and the degree of digitalisation. Second, by using a dictionary of skills and abilities related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we outline the different impacts of digitalisation processes on the professions covered by the INAPP dataset, through an analysis of their main components.


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