WeLaR > Events > PAST EVENTS > WeLaR workshop on labour demand brings together 20 participants 

WeLaR workshop on labour demand brings together 20 participants 

The WeLaR workshop “Labour market demand: economic and social risks” provided an excellent opportunity for scholars from across Europe to share and discuss their recent research on trends in this area.

The event, organised by the Institute for Structural Research (IBS), was held on 18 April 2024 in Warsaw and featured 10 presentations.

“It was a day full of insightful debates,” said Piotr Lewandowski (IBS). “We looked into how migration, the green transition, AI, and various shocks are reshaping the demand for work, and wages.”

The workshop started with a keynote address by Christina Gathmann (LISER), “AI and the Labour Market”. Gathmann shed light on the latest research concerning the impact of generative AI on the world of work. She pointed out that unlike previous waves of technological innovation, such as robotisation, AI has distinct effects on the labour market. Gathmann cautioned against drawing parallels between robotisation and AI. Recent findings suggest that, unlike this earlier technology, the adoption of AI is diminishing the demand for abstract and analytical tasks, while strengthening demand for routine ones. Additionally, data indicates that AI has negative employment effects on medium-skill workers, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

The first session focused on technology and tasks with Pelin Özgül (ROA), exploring the impact of AI on wages and employment growth in Germany. Özgül found that technology exposure varies across worker groups, but generally, the adoption of AI has a positive and significant impact on workers’ wages. Next, Marta Palczyńska (IBS) discussed gender differences in occupations and tasks, showing that women perform more routine tasks than men within occupations. Moreover, the fact that women work shorter hours is associated with performing more routine tasks, which hurts their salaries and contributes to the gender wage gap.

The session on shocks and regulation started with a presentation by Jakob Schmidhäuser (ZEW) on the local economic impact of US troops’ withdrawal from Germany. He found that this economic shock had a persistent negative effect on local labour markets and public finance, decreasing municipal revenues and expenditures. Alessandro Tondini (FBK-IRVAPP) focused on the effect of legislation that reduced weekly working hours in Portugal from 44 hours to 40. Tondini found that this reform increased hourly workers’ productivity and had a modest negative effect on employment and sales. In the session’s final presentation, Michał Myck (CENEA) explored the effects of pre-retirement employment protection regulations, showing that such legislation has no negative implications on the employment or earnings of cohorts approaching retirement.

The third session centred on the consequences of migration. Laurène Thil (HIVA) presented a WeLaR report focusing on the relationship between atypical work forms and intra-EU migration patterns. Davit Adunts (IAB) explored whether the uncertainty of settlement intention affects Ukrainian refugees’ integration in Germany. He found that uncertainty significantly influences refugee integration paths, with those intending to settle displaying better employment prospects, faster language course enrolment, greater language proficiency, and higher aspirations compared to those intending to return or those who are undecided. Piotr Lewandowski (IBS) presented his research analysing how Ukrainian migrants and refugees affect Poland’s economy through business creation. Lewandowski argued that the inflow of Ukrainian refugees led to a wave of business creation by Ukrainian entrepreneurs, and its effect on total firm creation was positive. Furthermore, he found no indication of crowding out of native firms. 

The last session focused on the effects the greening of the economy has on labour market demand. Fabrizio Pompei (UNIPG) presented his work investigating how green investments impact labour relations in Italy. Pompei found that companies making environmental investments differ, including by giving significantly more space to collective decentralised bargaining. Furthermore, these decentralised contracts, signed with trade unions, offer wage premiums and welfare services. In the last presentation, Ronald Bachmann (RWI) discussed how the greening of the economy changes the demand for skills and occupations. He showed that the labour market is already changing due to ecological transformation and that change is driven by the greening of existing jobs (new tasks) and the creation of new green occupations. 

At the Poster session, workshop’s participants listened to three presentations by IBS researchers:

  • Zuzanna Kowalik – “Organisational culture’s role in shaping job satisfaction of remote workers”
  • Karol Madoń – “The effects of automation on wages”
  • Wojciech Szymczak – “Technology adoption, trade unions and atypical employment”.

See the program here.

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