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Automation and Social Policy: Which Policy Response do At-risk Workers Support?


Häusermann, Silja; Kurer, Thomas (2022). Automation and Social Policy: Which Policy Response do At-risk Workers Support? In: Busemeyer, Marius R; Kemmerling, Achim; van Kersbergen, Kees; Marx, Paul. Digitalization and the Welfare State. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 139 -156.

Abstract

How does automation affect the politics of the welfare state? People at risk of their human labor being automated may react by claiming social protection (passive social policy), upskilling/commodification (active social policy), or both. In this brief contribution, we make use of novel survey data on perceived automation risk and social policy preferences from eight West European countries to estimate the size and preferences of the group of voters who feel threatened by automation. We find that, across countries, only a minority of voters feels imminently threatened by automation. Social policy preferences of at-risk voters are highly consistent: they support and prioritize passive unemployment protection measures, while being less supportive of activation, education, and labor market reintegration policies. In other words: progressive automation increases the support base for consumption-oriented welfare policies, thereby narrowing the support base for human capital-oriented policies that experts tend to recommend in response to automation.

Abstract

How does automation affect the politics of the welfare state? People at risk of their human labor being automated may react by claiming social protection (passive social policy), upskilling/commodification (active social policy), or both. In this brief contribution, we make use of novel survey data on perceived automation risk and social policy preferences from eight West European countries to estimate the size and preferences of the group of voters who feel threatened by automation. We find that, across countries, only a minority of voters feels imminently threatened by automation. Social policy preferences of at-risk voters are highly consistent: they support and prioritize passive unemployment protection measures, while being less supportive of activation, education, and labor market reintegration policies. In other words: progressive automation increases the support base for consumption-oriented welfare policies, thereby narrowing the support base for human capital-oriented policies that experts tend to recommend in response to automation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Subject: Political Economy, Comparative Politics. Keywords: automation risk, social protection, passive social policy, social investment, activation, human capital, welfare politics
Language:English
Date:March 2022
Deposited On:08 Feb 2023 13:47
Last Modified:08 Feb 2023 13:47
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISBN:9780192848369
Additional Information:UZH hat Onlinezugang.
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780192848369.003.0008
Official URL:https://academic.oup.com/book/41546/chapter/353002282