Technology-Enabled Disruption: Implications for Business, Labor Markets and Monetary Policy
May 24–25, 2018 Dallas Fed
Organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Technology-enabled disruption means workers increasingly being replaced by technology. It also means that existing business models are being supplanted by new models, often technology-enabled, for more efficiently selling or distributing goods and services. In addition, consumers are increasingly able to use technology to shop for goods and services at lower prices with greater convenience—having the impact of reducing the pricing power of businesses which has, in turn, caused them to further intensify their focus on creating greater operational efficiencies. These trends appear to be accelerating.
It is likely that disruption is a factor in economic outcomes being more and more skewed by educational attainment levels of workers. Increasingly, workers with lower levels of educational attainment are seeing their jobs restructured or eliminated. Unless they have sufficient math and literacy skills, or are retrained, these workers may see their productivity and incomes decline as a result of disruption. This may help explain the muted levels of wage gains and overall labor productivity growth we see in the U.S. as well as other advanced economies.
The impact of technology-enabled disruption on the workforce is likely not susceptible to monetary policy—it requires structural reforms. The reforms could include improving early childhood literacy and overall college readiness in order to increase the percentage of students who graduate college in six years or less—now estimated at 59 percent in the U.S. They would also include stepped up efforts to increase middle skills training in cities across the U.S. in order to improve employment, close the skills gap (not enough workers to fill skilled jobs) and raise worker productivity.
Disruption may also help explain why companies, facing one or more disruptive competitors, have been more cautious about making capacity-expansion decisions as well as investing in major capital projects.
To deal with disruptive changes and lack of pricing power, many companies are seeking to achieve greater scale economies in order to maintain or improve profit margins. This may help explain the record level of merger and acquisition activity globally over the past few years.
The purpose of the conference is to:
- Provide a better understanding of technology-enabled disruption and explore its implications for the broader economy, in particular inflation, productivity, labor markets, business dynamics and the workforce.
- Promote further research on technology-enabled disruption, which affects more and more areas of economic life.
- Thursday and Friday, May 24–25, 2018
- Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
2200 N. Pearl Street
Dallas, TX 75201
- For more information, contact Sharon Wallace.
|Thursday, May 24|
|8:30 a.m.||Registration and Continental Breakfast|
Mark Wynne, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
|9:35 a.m.||Opening Remarks
Robert S. Kaplan, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Raphael Bostic, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
|10:00 a.m.||Session I: The Disruption Challenge Facing Business
Moderator: Robert S. Kaplan
James “Rad” Weaver, McCombs Partners
John Stephens, AT&T
Myron E. Ullman, JC Penney (formerly)
Tom Fanning, Southern Co.
Troy Taylor, Coca-Cola
|11:30 a.m.||Working Lunch
Session II: Defining Disruption—The View from Academia
Moderator: Dan Sullivan, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Willy Shih, Harvard Business School
Jan Rivkin, Harvard Business School
William A. Sahlman, Harvard Business School
|1:00 p.m.||Session III: Broader Labor Market Implications of Technology-Enabled Disruption
Moderator: Mary Daly, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Patrick Harker, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
William Kerr, Harvard Business School
Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
|2:45 p.m.||Session IV: Roundtable on the Implications of Technology-Enabled Disruption for Workforce Development
Moderator: Pia M. Orrenius, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Joe May, Dallas County Community College District
William Serrata, El Paso Community College
Michael Sorrell, Paul Quinn College
|4:30 p.m.||Session V: Disruption, Entrepreneurship and Small-Business-Dynamism
Moderator: Mine K. Yücel, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
John Haltiwanger, University of Maryland
Deepak Hegde, New York University
Antoinette Schoar, MIT
Ganesh Padmanabhan, CognitiveScale
|7:00 p.m.||Introduction: Robert S. Kaplan
Keynote: Martin Feldstein, Harvard University
|Friday, May 25|
|7:30 a.m.||Registration and Breakfast|
Session VI: A Historical Perspective on Technology and Technological Change
|9:00 a.m.||Session VII: Disruption and the Broader Economy
Moderator: Michael Dotsey, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Michael Boskin, Stanford University
Mark Duggan, Stanford University
Chad Syverson, Chicago Booth
Stephanie Aaronson*, Board of Governors
|10:45 a.m.||Session VIII: Policymaker Panel
Moderator: David Altig, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Charles Evans, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Robert S. Kaplan
|12:45 p.m.||Session IX: Where Next?
Moderator: Joseph S. Tracy, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Marc Giannoni, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
|1:30 p.m.||Closing Remarks and Adjourn
Robert S. Kaplan
For More Information
Please contact Sharon Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org.