I am reading article http://public.gettysburg.edu/~tlin/research/robots-main.pdf "A New Keynesian Model with Robots: Implications for Business Cycles and Monetary Policy" and I wonder how actual this article is, actually, in my opinion, this article will bring Nobel prize to its authors.

My question: is there research on macroeconomic models about labour-replacing capital, i.e. about robotics and artificial intelligence as the new factor? Google search gives no relevant results and as far as I can find, the mentioned article is really pioneering in this field. Or maybe there is ongoing research on these themes but it uses different terms and keywords?

Of course, capital is usually included in all the major macroeconomic models, but the key issue is that today the certain forms of capital can almost fully replace (e.g. see https://www.hlai-conf.org/ or http://people.idsia.ch/~juergen/) labour and it brings with itself new issues, including the necessity to model new types of taxes and also the universal basic income. Maybe such labour-replacing capital has already been modeled in traditional (e.g. DSGE) models?


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The Grundrisse’s “fragment on the machines” expounds on the tendency to universal automation rather famously, without Marx having stripped his more idealistic hopes from his exposition, and without the deadening jargon of Capital’s chapters on the organic composition of capital. It isn’t perfect on the automation of science itself, but that just needs to be reread with science posited as a commodity, AI as fixed capital etc. Nick Dyer-Witheford works in this area last time I checked.

The assumption, or rather observation, of the centrality of a diminishing living component of labour is central to Marxist political economy. Normally it is posited as the OCC critique where transcending this process only exists as a negative, but the fragment on the machines pictures the real possibility of social mastering of social production. In “fragment” Marx goes a bit further than UBI and instead poses universal leisure (relief from labour) due to hyper abundance. This is viewed as a fundamentally political achievement and one not achieved by parliament, treasury or finance ministries.

As far as formalisations, OCC seems to be an accepted category amongst the analytical Marxists (Basu 2018 …Ground-rent… [working paper] https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1242&context=econ_workingpaper). This means it ought to appear in heterodox Marxist economics, as opposed to just Marxist political economy.


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