A Gender Lens on the future of work

Rubery, J. (2019), Journal of International Affairs 72(1): 91-106

Predicting the gender effects of the next phase of technological change is complex. Potential mass job displacement, as predicted by some of the most quoted analysts, could be expected to put gender equality gains at risk, with women again encouraged to focus more on unpaid work, as happened after the two world wars when mass unemployment was threatened. Predictions of job loss by gender are based on extrapolating from the current pattern of gender segregation. This may be a reasonable method to predict job loss, provided attention is paid to the fact that not all women’s jobs are routinized and automatable and that women’s low wages may reduce incentives to displace female labor.

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