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机器人很可能扩大两性收入差距

Claire Zillman 2018年01月04日

自动化不一定带来大规模失业,但让财富和收入差距加速扩大的可能性更高。

上周四发表的一篇新报告指出,机器人有可能使女性的同工不同酬问题变得更糟糕,这让萦绕在自动化概念周围的顾虑和不确定性变得更加突出。

该报告题为《管理数字时代的自动化就业、收入差距和伦理》(Managing automation Employment, inequality and ethics in the digital age),由英国公共政策研究所(IPPR)撰写。这家研究所在报告中指出,在女性从事的工作中,46.8%的工作具有实现自动化的技术潜力,高于男性的40.9%,原因是女性更有可能进入技术水平低的“可自动化”岗位。再加上女性在有望获得科技完善的技术工种中占比偏低,自动化有可能扩大男女收入差距。

IPPR认为:“自动化不一定带来大规模失业,但让财富和收入差距加速扩大的可能性更高。”

它指出,由于自动化所取代的往往是收入低于平均线的女性劳动者,所以刚开始有可能缩小性别收入差距,(经合组织最新数据表明,英国的男女收入差距为17.1%,美国为18.9%)。但要继续缩小男女收入差距,这些被取代的女性劳动者再就业时的收入就得接近其他已就业女性的平均薪酬。在IPPR看来,不大可能出现这样的情况。一些由女性主导的行业(如零售店、托儿所和养老院)在提高生产率方面的投资不断减少,原因可能是目前的劳动力成本是如此之低。

这就意味着这些行业可能不会遭到颠覆,从而让现有女性劳动者一直从事低报酬工作,而且有可能从其他实现自动化的行业吸收女性就业者。IPPR指出,此外,完善人类工作的技术有可能提高部分顶薪劳动者的工资,而这些人较有可能是男性,从而“造成更大的收入差距”。

2017年早些时候普华永道曾发表过一篇研究报告。IPPR这篇探讨英国就业市场的报告提出了和前者相反的观点。普华永道分析认为,受自动化影响较大的是男性,而非女性。

普华永道的这篇报告名为《机器人会偷走我们的就业机会吗?自动化对英国及其他主要经济体的影响》(Will robots steal our jobs? The potential impact of automation on the U.K. and other major economies)。该公司在报告中称:“我们发现,平均而言男性面临的岗位自动化风险较大,特别是那些文化程度低的男性。” 普华永道得出此项结论的理由是在男性劳动者集中的交通运输、仓储和制造业,技术颠覆的时机已经成熟。总的来说,普华永道发现35%的男性劳动者面临的自动化风险较高,女性为26%。

IPPR呼吁通过政策干预来解决它所说的这场不断迫近的危机。否则,“自动化带来的生产率红利就可能引发‘富足悖论’,也就是说,我们生产的越多,公平分享的就越少”。(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

A new report published Thursday suggests that robots could make the gender pay gap even worse, stoking existing fears and uncertainty around the concept of automation.

In a paper titled “Managing automation Employment, inequality and ethics in the digital age,” the Institute for Public Policy Research argued that a greater share of jobs that women hold—46.8% versus 40.9% for men—have the technical potential to be automated since female workers are more likely to hold low-skill “automatable” occupations. Paired with women’s underrepresentation in high-skill occupations that may be complemented by technology, that means that automation could exacerbate gender inequality.

“Automation,” IPPR says, “is more likely to accelerate inequalities of wealth and income than create a future of mass joblessness.”

Initially, IPPR says, automation could narrow the gender pay gap since it would displace women from jobs that tend to earn below-average pay. (According to the latest OECD data, the gender wage gap in the U.K. is 17.1%; in the U.S., it’s 18.9%.) But that progress would remain only if displaced women re-entered the labor market at around the new average salary for their gender. That’s unlikely, IPPR says. Some industries dominated by women (such as retail or child and elderly care) are seeing less investment in productivity-raising technology, perhaps because the current human labor is so cheap.

That means those sectors may not be disrupted, leaving existing female workers in the low-paying positions and potentially absorbing female workers from other automating industries. On top of that, technology that complements human work is likely to raise wages of some of the highest earners—who are more likely to be men—”leading to greater wage disparity,” according to IPPR.

The report, which examined the U.K. labor market, serves as a sort of counterpoint to a study published earlier this year by PricewaterhouseCoopers. In its analysis, PwC argued the opposite: that men, rather than women, would bear the brunt of automation.

“On average, we find that men and, in particular, those with lower levels of education…are at greater risk of job automation,” PwC said in its report titled, “Will robots steal our jobs? The potential impact of automation on the U.K. and other major economies.” In drawing its conclusion, PwC cited men’s concentration in transportation and storage and manufacturing jobs that are ripe for technological disruption. All told, PwC found that 35% of men’s jobs had a high risk of automation compared to 26% of women’s.

The IPPR, for its part, called for policy intervention to address the looming crisis it has identified. Without it, “the productivity dividends of automation could create a ‘paradox of plenty,’ in which we produce more, yet it is less equally share.”

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