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?




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


Recent Publications

Articles in Refereed Journals and Working Papers

Gregory, Terry; Zierahn, Ulrich (2022): When the Minimum Wage Really Bites Hard: The Negative Spillover Effect on High-Skilled Workers. Journal of Public Economics (forthcoming).

Böhm, Michael; Gregory, Terry; Quendrai, Pamela; Siegel, Christian (2021): Demographic Change and Regional Labour Markets. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 7 (1).

Böhm, Michael; Siegel, Christian (2021): Make Yourselves Scarce: The Effect of Demographic Change on the Relative Wages and Employment Rates of Experienced Workers. International Economic Review.

Genz, Sabrina; Gregory, Terry, Lehmer, Florian; Matthes, Britta; Janser, Markus (2021): How Do Workers Adjust When Firms Adopt New Technologies. IZA Discussion Paper No.14626.

Gregory, Terry; Salomons, Anna; Zierahn, Ulrich (2021): Racing With or Against the Machine? Evidence on the Role of Trade in Europe. Journal of the European Economic Association (forthcoming).

Böhm, Michael (2020): The price of polarization: Estimating task prices under routine‐biased technical change. Quantitative Economics, 11 (2), 761-799.

Feng, Andy; Graetz, Georg (2020): Training requirements, automation, and job polarisation. Economic Journal, 130 (631), 2249-2271.

Böhm, Michael; Gaudecker, Hans Martin von; Schran, Felix (2019): Occupation Growth, Skill Prices, and Wage Inequality Occupation Growth, Skill Prices, and Wage Inequality. Journal of Labor Economics (revise & resubmit).

Graetz, Georg; Michaels, Guy (2018): Robots at Work. Review of Economics and Statistics, 100 (5), 753-768.

Arntz, Melanie; Gregory, Terry; Zierahn, Ulrich (2017): Revisiting the Risk of Automation. Economics Letters, 159, 157-160.

Graetz, Georg; Michaels, Guy (2017): Is Modern Technology Responsible for Jobless Recoveries? American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings, 107 (5), 168-173.

Further Publications

Bonin, Holger; Steffes, Susanne; Hillerich-Sigg, Annette; Krause-Pilatus, Annabelle; Rinne, Ulf (2021): Auswirkungen der Digitalisierung auf die Erwerbstätigkeit von Frauen. IZA Research Report No. 107.

Arntz, Melanie; Gregory, Terry; Zierahn, Ulrich (2020): Digitalization and the Future of Work: Macroeconomic Consequences, Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics.

Arntz, Melanie; Gregory, Terry; Zierahn, Ulrich (2020):  Digitalisierung und die Zukunft der Arbeit. Wirtschaftsdienst, 100 (13). 

Bonin, Holger; Eichhorst, Werner; Kaczynska, Jennifer; Kümmerling, Angelika; Rinne, Ulf; Scholten, Annika; Steffes, Susanne (2020): Verbreitung und Auswirkungen von mobiler Arbeit und Homeoffice. IZA Research Report No. 99.

Arntz, Melani; Goos, Maarten; Gregory, Terry; Zierahn, Ulrich; Carretero Gómez, Stephanie; González Vázquez, Ignacio; Jonkers, Koen (2019): The impact of Technological innovation on the Future of Work. JRC Technical Report.



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