The Effects of Digitalisation on Labour Market Polarisation and Tax Revenue

Digitalization is sometimes described as the third industrial revolution. What insights can be gained from comparing the present situation to the state of society at the outset of the first industrial revolution some two-and-half centuries ago?

From the late 18th century onwards, it led to an upheaval in work and livelihoods at a time when there were few social safety nets. The rapid transformation of economies and societies triggered a drive to create new social and political institutions to manage and reduce the social costs of change.

Universal education, social security and pension systems were introduced. Spurred by hazardous and difficult work conditions, as well as excessively low pay, labour organised into trade unions to become a counterweight to employers and owners of firms. Societies developed methods to handle change and devised ways to resolve conflict through rules and negotiations, rather than through force.


Blix, Mårten (2017), "The Effects of Digitalisation on Labour Market Polarisation and Tax Revenue". CESifo Forum 4/2017, Vol. 18, 9–14.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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