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Automatisation, productivité et croissance

BERLIN – Il semble évident que si une entreprise investit dans l'automatisation, sa main-d'œuvre, bien que réduite, sera plus productive. Alors pourquoi les statistiques nous racontent-elles une autre histoire ?

Dans les économies avancées, où de nombreux secteurs disposent à la fois de l'argent et de la volonté d'investir dans l'automatisation, la croissance de la productivité (mesurée en valeur ajoutée par employé ou en heures de travail) est faible depuis au moins 15 ans. Et dans les années qui ont suivi la crise financière mondiale de 2008, la croissance économique globale de ces pays a également été maigre : seulement 4% ou moins en moyenne.

Une explication est que les économies avancées ont contracté trop de dettes et ont dû se désendetter, en contribuant ainsi à un modèle de sous-investissement dans le secteur public et en portant préjudice à la consommation et aux investissements du secteur privé. Mais le désendettement est un processus temporaire, qui ne limite pas indéfiniment la croissance. À long terme, la croissance économique globale dépend de la croissance de la main-d'œuvre et de sa productivité.

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