Dr. Mary Kaltenberg

From Micro to Macro: Essays on Technological Change and Income Divergence

Year: 2020

Bart Verspagen and Neil Foster-McGregor


Recently, there is a growing concern about the relationship between technological change and income inequality. This thesis investigates the nature of this relationship between individuals, industries and nations using a breadth of data sources. The benefits or concerns of the impact of technological change on income depends on the perspective of analysis. Within many European countries, the main driver of rising inequality is due to automation, and this effect is caused by the fast-changing composition of the workforce. While, at the industry level, one factor that is important in explaining wage differences between industries is knowledge diversity - individuals who work in knowledge diverse industries tend to earn more, and it is especially true for occupations that have more social and interpersonal skills. At the national level, technological capabilities have a positive effect on explaining economic growth rates, particularly for lower income countries. Technological change can have positive and unintended negative effects, and understanding the context in which technological change benefits or harms can help guide policy makers.

Selected publications by Mary Kaltenberg

UNU-MERIT Working Papers
Kaltenberg, Mary & Neil Foster-McGregor, 2020, The impact of automation on inequality across Europe, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2020-009
Jun, Bogang, Mary Kaltenberg & Won-Sik Hwang, 2017, How inequality hurts growth: Revisiting the Galor-Zeira model through a Korean case, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2017-034
Verspagen, Bart & Mary Kaltenberg, 2015, Catching-up in a globalised context: Technological change as a driver of growth, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2015-049

Kaltenberg, Mary, 2020, From Micro to Macro: Essays on Technological Change and Income Divergence, PhD dissertation Maastricht University / United Nations University