UM Data Science Research Seminar

Teresa Farinha and Stephan Dietrich, IDS and UNU-MERIT

The UM Data Science Research Seminar Series are monthly sessions organised by the Institute of Data Science, on behalf of the UM Data Science Community, in collaboration with different departments across UM with the aim to bring together data scientists from Maastricht University to discuss breakthroughs and research topics related to Data Science.

This session is organised in collaboration with IDSRegister here


Presentation 1

Time: 12:00 - 12:30

Title: Modern talent, Automation and Wage Inequality

Speaker: Teresa Farinha

Abstract: Artificial Intelligence and Modern Robotics may massively substitute tasks and reshuffle our entire economy. But how different is it from previous technological revolutions? The first two industrial revolutions replaced muscle with steam and electric power. It changed the types of workers that could participate in manufacturing activities, creating a massive movement of human capital from capital-intensive agriculture to manufacturing. The third industrial revolution initiated the automation of multiple manufacturing activities, transferring human capital to an expanding service sector. The current fourth technological revolution is fully automating jobs in mining and agriculture, but also in multiple capital-intensive activities within manufacturing and services, from truck and bus driving to the operation of construction equipment, from car manufacturing to delicate medical procedures. Can we describe this transition process with more granularity and precision? Can we identify the occupations and tasks that are more likely to become automated? What will the fourth generation of skills in the workforce look like? 

In this paper, we find a novel and powerful stylized fact. It regards the particular nature of tasks being automated with the new technologies and its bottlenecks – such as creativity, social and emotional intelligence, cognitive flexibility, and the like – that end up reflecting on wage variation within a particular type of job. This can, therefore, be used to assess a job’s risk of automation. Moreover, contrary to the existing automation risk indexes, the novel index does not require the rarely available occupational data. Thus, it can be used to assess impacts of automation in many different countries, including less developed economies.


Presentation 2

Time: 12:30 - 13:00

Title: Feeling and dealing with the weather – temperature extremes and subjective well being

Speaker: Stephan Dietrich

Abstract: Global warming is slowly but profoundly transforming societies around the world. Scientists have reached a great deal of precision in modelling climatic changes and there has been an impressive surge in research that links climate to economic and social damage in economic growth, health, conflicts, migration, or agriculture. However, our understanding of the welfare damage inflicted by impacts on non-market-goods is still poor. How should we value the welfare loss due to damages in non-market goods such as melting glaciers or the extinction of rare species? Due to lacking empirical evidence, frameworks to model the social cost of carbon emissions use rule-of-thumb parameters to account for damages to non-market goods. To design effective, efficient, and fair policies to manage climate change, much more evidence on the non-monetized effects of weather variability is needed.

In this paper we combine subjective wellbeing reports of 2.5 million participants of Gallup’s World Poll in 151 countries between 2008 and 2019 and match it with temperature data. We analyze the relationship between the exposure to extreme temperate days and subjective wellbeing reports and cast light on spatial and socio-economic differences in this relationship. Lastly, we use income reports to quantify the income and non-income effects through which temperature extremes affect subjective well being.

This event is free and open to everyone. Please register before Thursday 21 October, 11:59 A.M.



UNU-MERIT, Sueli Brodin

IDS, Kody Moodley, Vikas Jaiman, Bernice Breuer

Venue: Online

Date: 21 October 2021

Time: 12:00 - 13:00