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As nations engage in a race for global advantage in innovation, ITIF champions a new policy paradigm that ensures businesses and national economies can compete successfully by spurring public and private investment in foundational areas such as research, skills, and 21st century infrastructure. Our research on productivity issues analyzes past, present, and future trends in productivity, and advances policies to drive robust productivity growth, including through tech-based automation.


The Enterprise Automation Imperative—Why Modern Societies Will Need All the Productivity They Can Get

The Enterprise Automation Imperative—Why Modern Societies Will Need All the Productivity They Can Get

Contrary to common belief, enterprise automation is not a cause for alarm, but instead a societal imperative. Modern nations will need all the productivity they can get to address today’s ever-more-resource-constrained challenges.

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March 27, 2023|Blogs

Each Industrial Robot Installed in Recent Years Created Between 13 and 16 Jobs

From 2005 to 2016, economists Jon Chung and Yong Suk Lee found that, while robots initially led to lower employment and wages for affected workers, that trend reversed as firms and workers adjusted to the broader adoption of robots in production.

March 1, 2023|Reports & Briefings

Industry Disruption Isn’t Accelerating; It’s Shifting to the Physical World

Defending Digital Series, No. 15: While ChatGPT and generative artificial intelligence have great potential, predictions of ever-increasing digital disruption thus far have proven to be false. Looking ahead, the most significant societal shifts won’t be driven by digital technology; they will stem from the demands of the physical world.

February 23, 2023|Blogs

Recent U.S. Manufacturing Employment Growth Hides the Sector’s Abysmal Productivity Performance

Over the last two years, the U.S. economy has added 830,000 manufacturing jobs. At first glance, this suggests a renewed strength in manufacturing. In reality, it masks a new weakness: productivity decline.

January 30, 2023|Blogs

Fact of the Week: US Manufacturing Labor Productivity Fell by 2.8 Percent Between 2011 and 2021

U.S. manufacturing labor productivity (measured in output per hour of labor) increased 43 percent between 2001 and 2011. However, over the next ten years, productivity fell by 2.8 percent.

December 16, 2022|Blogs

Adoption of Advanced Technologies Was Associated With 11.4 Percent Higher Labor Productivity in 2016–2018

A recent paper by Daron Acemoglu and coauthors finds that firms that adopted at least one of five advanced technologies had labor productivity rates 11.4 percent higher than those of non-adopting firms when accounting for industry, firm size, and firm age. This figure increases to 21.2 percent for firms adopting all five technologies.

October 20, 2022|Op-Eds & Commentary

Korea Needs More Robots To Be Globally Competitive

For many years Korea had the honor of leading the world in industrial robot adoption. But that lead is now in doubt, as other nations, especially China, but also Japan and the United States, saw much faster increases in robot adoption in 2021, according to the International Federation of Robotics.

September 30, 2022|Blogs

Oops: The Predicted 47 Percent of Job Loss From AI Didn’t Happen

It’s been nine years since Oxford professors Frey and Osborne’s dystopian forecast came out, so it’s worth looking at what happened to U.S. jobs with the increase of new technologies.

September 21, 2022|Events

How Can Policymakers Encourage More Robo-Lawyers?

Watch the Center for Data Innovation's panel discussion about the potential for AI-enabled robo-lawyers to provide legal services, the challenges in providing these services today, and steps policymakers can take to allow the development of tech-enabled legal services.

July 25, 2022|Blogs

Fact of the Week: The Midwest and Great Plains are America’s Regional Leaders in Industrial Robot Usage

Industrial robot concentration is especially high in Michigan, where 39.5 percent of manufacturing employees had exposure to them in 2019.

July 5, 2022|Reports & Briefings

No One Talks About Too Much Automation Anymore

“Defending Digital” Series, No. 7: Remember all those breathless warnings that artificial intelligence would soon eliminate a wide range of “routine” jobs? So far, pretty much the opposite has occurred. Given today’s widespread worker shortages, corrosive inflation, and vast societal challenges, America clearly needs all the automation it can get.

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