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Displacement by Technological Progress in the USSR (Social and Educational Problems and their Treatment)

  • Anna-Jutta Pietsch
  • Heinrich Vogel
  • Gertrude Schroeder

Abstract

The labour force of industrialized nations is subject to a constant process of restructuring. This is true for Western industrialized societies as well as for the Soviet Union. The origins of this process are to be found in two interrelated developments:
  1. (1)

    Technological progress leads to an increase in labour productivity. This means that the same quantity of goods is produced with fewer workers because the output capacity of capital equipment is increased, or certain jobs are no longer needed due to mechanization and automation.

     
  2. (2)

    The increasing national product brought about mostly by rising labour productivity is, as a rule, not used in the same way as the national product generated in the past. As individual and collective prosperity of the nation increases, the structure of demand for goods and services changes likewise.

     
Under ideal circumstances, the jobs lost as a result of the two processes described above are compensated by the creation of new jobs in the same or other production units. In most cases, however, this process does not run smoothly. In Western industrialized nations, demand cannot expand fast enough to keep up with the increase in labour productivity.

Keywords

Labour Force Technical Change Technological Progress Young Worker Labour Shortage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    This rate must not be confused with the potential rate of displacement, deduced for many countries by input-output analysis (e.g. D. M. Gallik et al., ‘The 1972 input-output table and the changing structure of the Soviet economy’, in Soviet Economy in a Time of Change (Washington, DC, 1979) pp. 423–71). These studies indicate the number of workers who would be displaced by technical progress if production remained constant. This figure is compared with manpower needs resulting from the expansion of output calculated for constant technology. However, the difference between the two figures does not correspond to the real amount of displacement, because in reality the two processes are correlated. The increase in labour productivity brought about, e.g., by the introduction of a more productive machine need not result in any displacement at all, if production of the corresponding goods is expanded simultaneously.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Jan Adam 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna-Jutta Pietsch
  • Heinrich Vogel
  • Gertrude Schroeder

There are no affiliations available

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