Digital Transformation

The aim of IZA’s research team “Digital Transformation” is to analyze the impact of ongoing digitalization on the labor market as well as to understand how firms, workers and local labor markets adapt to these technological changes. These structural changes are thereby examined against the background of demographic trends (population ageing, labor shortages) and national institutions (minimum wages). For this, we conduct causal impact analyses using microdata from public administrations (Federal Employment Agency), survey data as well as linked employer-employee data sets. By doing so, we contribute to a better understanding of how disruptive technologies affect our everyday lives (in an ageing society), so that, where appropriate, suitable policy measures can be developed and evaluated for the new digital age.

Our key topics involve the following research questions:

  • What are the labor market effects of new technologies such as robots and artificial intelligence (Industry 4.0)?
  • How are work content and skill requirements changing in the course of digital transformation (Work 4.0)?
  • Do institutions such as minimum wages and demographic trends provide additional incentives for automation?
  • Do digital changes exacerbate inequalities on the labor market?
  • Has Covid-19 accelerated the digital transformation on the labor market?



Dr. Terry Gregory (Team Leader)

Selected ongoing projects

Has COVID-19 accelerated the digital transformation on the labor market?

Labor Market Impacts of Covid-19 in the Digital Transformation

Technology and Jobs in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Minimum Wages and Automation

Impact of Demographic Change on Regional Labor Markets


Selected Publications

Demographic Change and Regional Labour Markets, IZA Discussion Paper No. 13883 (2020), forthcoming in: Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 2021, 7 (1)

Digitalization and the Future of Work: Macroeconomic Consequences, IZA Discussion Paper No. 12428 (2019), forthcoming in: Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics, 2020

Racing With or Against the Machine? Evidence from EuropeIZA Discussion Paper No. 12063 (2019)

Revisiting the Risk of Automation, Economics Letters (2017)



2nd IZA/CREA Workshop: Exploring the Future of Work