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According to economist Richard Baldwin, “globotics” – a fusion of globalization and robotics – has triggered an industrial revolution that will hit service industry workers hard. The speed with which offshoring and software displace white-collar employees in the knowledge sector will be staggering. Yet Baldwin’s message is ultimately hopeful. In a candid conversation with economist Rob Johnson, Baldwin explains how society will adjust with time. But the transition to that new reality may be bumpy. Consider yourself forewarned.

Summary

Two previous industrial revolutions – first, the mechanical revolution and, second, the information and communications technology revolution – displaced masses of manual labor jobs and jobs in the manufacturing sector, respectively. As society traversed these transitions, the locus of value shifted from land to capital to knowledge. A hollowing out of the middle led to a growing gulf of inequality.

A third revolution will see “globotics” – a combination of globalization and automation – disrupt white-collar knowledge work, an employment sector that emerged from previous revolutions...

About the Speaker

Economist Richard Baldwin is the author of The Globotics Upheaval.


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