Académie des technologies

Ten questions about the relation between technology, growth and employment

“10 questions about the relation between technology, growth and employment”, addressed by Prof. Jacques LESOURNE

1. What are the long-term effects of technology on growth rates and job markets of a given national economy with few or no external exchange factors?
Two definitions arise from the application of the first model
How best can we describe growth?
Understanding the concepts of labour, equipment and natural resources
Based on this first model, is there an answer to the first question?

2. In this context, how has French growth compared with others over the past 15 years?
First observable fact: unemployment sterilises the main factor underscoring production
Second observable fact: with respect to the USA, our per capitum growth rate is low.
Third observable fact: bad performance figures are largely due to employment rates and working hours.
With these facts and figures, what reasonable conclusions can we draw?

3. If we take sectorial diversity into account, does this contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between technologies – employment- growth?
Social ‘welfare’ unemploymentClassical unemployment.
Keynesian unemployment.

4. How should one interpret differences in level of unemployment in France, between the immediate after WWII period and the past 30 years?

5. How does international trade intervene in the relation technologies – employment – growth ?

6. What happens when you superimpose capital movements to international trade patterns?

7. Does increased globalisation of companies contribute to the phenomena observed?
What is the particular role played by technologies with respect to employment and growth?
Four actors: SMEs and large conglomerates, States and scientists.
Complex relationships between SMEs and major companies, States and scientists.
Multiple effects in terms of employment.

8. How and where do technologies arise?

9. What general conclusions may we draw from these analyses?

10. What do these conclusions imply for the European Union and for France in particular?

The European Union does not exploit the potential growth rates that should naturally accrue from the excellence of our scientists and engineers.In France, the impact of demographic evolution, of the relatively low number of hours of each active worker, and of the particularities of the labour market.