Impacts from automation diffuse locally - a novel approach to estimate jobs risk in US cities

Teresa Farinha, UNU-MERIT

Teresa Farinha will present an online talk within the seminar 'Analysis of complex systems' on Friday 23 October via zoom: 


Workers that become automated may transfer productivity gains to their co-workers or make it easier to automate their jobs too. In this paper, Teresa Farinha empirically investigates how automatable jobs have diffused impacts to neighbouring jobs in North American cities between 2007 and 2016.

Results indicate that jobs that share similarities with neighbouring high-risk jobs grew less, even when controlling for their own technical risk of automation. Conversely, jobs that share complementarities with neighbouring high-risk jobs grew faster, possibly indicating productivity gains from working with recently automated jobs. In addition to the analysis in this paper, Teresa provides an adjusted index of job automation risk that accounts for local diffusion of impacts (negative and positive) in US cities.

About the speaker

Teresa Farinha is a research fellow at UNU-MERIT, studying the evolution of regional labour systems, impacts of automation, and the future of work. Teresa has recently concluded her PhD program in Evolutionary Economic Geography at Utrecht University, and will soon defend her thesis on "The evolving geography of jobs: how relatedness shapes labour dynamics". She also holds an MSc in Financial and Monetary Economics and an Undergrad in Economics from the University of Lisboa. Teresa has done research work since 2009, as well as teaching, co-organizing conferences and workshops, and assisting the coordination of research projects, mostly in innovation and counterfactual impact evaluation of EU public policies. She also worked in audit, business consulting, risk analysis, governance, tutoring, and volunteer work in Portuguese NGOs on Fisheries & Marine Policy, and Circular Economy.

Eager to apply her research skills to solve real problems, bridging science and policy, Teresa is passionate about how economic complex systems evolve, and how to use that knowledge to nurture inclusive economic prosperity. Her research interests: economic development, the future of work, ecology, sustainability transitions, pro-poor innovation, and policy impact evaluation. 

Venue: Online

Date: 23 October 2020

Time: 15:00 - 16:00  CEST