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Economy 4.0 and its labour market and economic impacts



This study focuses on the economic effects of the phenomenon of "Economy 4.0", the digitalisation of the economy as a whole and not only in industrial production processes. These developments involve considerable challenges at enterprise and political level. The five-step scenario analysis begins with the impacts of increased investments of enterprises in equipment (1) and of the state in the network infrastructure (2) on the overall economy and the labour market. On this basis we further model the consequent personnel and material costs of the enterprises (3) and a changed pattern of demand for occupations and skills (4). In a further scenario the effects on the labour market of a potentially increasing demand for goods (5) are taken into consideration. The cumulative effects of these five partial scenarios are compared with a baseline scenario which contains no advanced development path to Economy 4.0.
The results show that Economy 4.0 will accelerate the structural change towards more services. In this process labour force movements between branches, occupations and job requirements are much larger than the change of the number of gainfully employed persons in total. The turnover on the labour market are accompanied by an increasing value added which is leading not only to more economic assets but also - due to higher requirements for the labour force - to higher aggregate wages.
The underlying assumptions have a positive effect on the economic development. But this also means that, given a delayed realization, the assumptions are turning against the business location Germany: We will export less and demand more 'new' goods from abroad.
In order to analyse the effects of digitization on the future occupational structure, but also to improve the knowledge about the economic interdependencies, further advances of the QuBe-E4.0 project are planned.

Further information


Bibliographical information

Wolter, Marc Ingo; Mönnig, Anke; Hummel, Markus; Weber, Enzo; Zika, Gerd; Helmrich, Robert; Maier, Tobias; Neuber-Pohl, Caroline (2016): Economy 4.0 and its labour market and economic impacts * Scenario calculations in line with the BIBB-IAB qualification and occupational field projections. (IAB-Forschungsbericht, 13/2016), Nürnberg, 63 p.