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Technology adoption and employment in less developed countries: a mixed-method systematic review

Technology adoption and employment in less developed countries: a mixed-method systematic review

Ugur, Mehmet ORCID: 0000-0003-3891-3641 and Mitra, Arup (2017) Technology adoption and employment in less developed countries: a mixed-method systematic review. World Development, 96. pp. 1-18. ISSN 0305-750X (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.03.015)

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Abstract

The implications of technology adoption for productivity, income and welfare have been studied widely in the context of less developed countries (LDCs). In contrast, the relationship between technology adoption and employment has attracted less interest. This systematic review evaluates the diverse yet sizeable evidence base that has remained below the radars of both reviewers and policy makers. We map the qualitative and empirical evidence and report that the effect of technology adoption on employment is skill-biased and more likely to be observed when technology adoption favour product innovation as opposed to process innovation. Technology adoption is also less likely to be associated with employment creation when: (i) the evidence is related to farm employment as opposed to firm/industry employment; (ii) the evidence is related to low-income countries as opposed lower-middle-income or mixed countries; and (iii) the evidence is based on post-2001 data as opposed to pre-2001 data. There is also qualitative evidence indicating that international trade, weak forward and backward linkages and weaknesses in governance and labour-market institutions tend to weaken the job-creating effects of technology adoption. We conclude by calling for compilation of better-quality survey data and further attention to sources of heterogeneity in modeling the relationship between technology adoption and employment in LDCs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Innovation; Technology adoption; Employment; Systematic review; Meta-analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 17 May 2019 13:02
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT c
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 3
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/16521

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