Economics External Seminar: Almudena Sevilla (UCL)

5 June 2019, 1.00 PM - 5 June 2019, 2.00 PM

Almudena Sevilla (Queen Mary)

1B6 Priory Road Complex

TITLE: Routine-Biased Technological Change, Effort at Work, and Workers’ Well-being 

ABSTRACT: This paper links detailed 24-hour diary surveys in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) over the last decades to document increases in effort at work and its implications for workers well-being. We provide evidence that automating technology is associated to higher work effort along three different dimensions: the timing, the nature, and the composition of the changes. The rise in work effort is more salient during the period in which routine-bias technological change intensified, is characterized not only by a lower consumption but also a lower frequency of on-the-job leisure, and is more pronounced for workers in routine-intensive occupations. We rule out alternative supply and demand-side explanations, such as changes in the relative preference for leisure and an increase in offshoring. We find that increases in work effort can explain losses in workers’ instantaneous enjoyment while at work. 

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