Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Social Sciences - Berlin Graduate School of Social Science

Lisa Kortmann

Lisa Kortmann

BGSS Generation 2019



Technological Change and the Labour Market. Curse or Blessing for Older Employees in Germany?



Dr. Julia Simonson



Technological change alters the supply and demand for human labour. The rapid advances in technologies over the last decades have led to an increasing substitutability of occupational tasks executed by human labour force by computers or computer-based machines. Additionally, a growing number of other occupational tasks can be augmented by computers or computer-based machines. Since occupations differ in their task-profiles, they differ in their potential of substitutability. Following this employees in different occupations have lower or higher risks of job substitution due to new technologies.

The dissertation deals with the impact of technological change on the occupational situation of older employees in Germany. It will be analysed if (and how) risks of job substitution are associated with different facets of older employee’s occupational conditions. In the three articles of the cumulative dissertation the association of job substitution risk with (1) job satisfaction, (2) participation in training on the job and retirement wishes and decisions, and (3) with perceived ageism and individuals’ own attitudes towards age and ageing, will be examined.

Data from the German Ageing Survey (DEAS, Deutscher Alterssurvey) and use the concept of substitutability potentials of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung) will be used. The dissertation aims to contribute answers to the question whether technological change will be a curse or blessing for older employees in Germany. The findings will be discussed in terms of implications for social inequality.