Bet 687

Duration 10 years (02015-02025)

“The June, 2025 Labor Force Participation Rate and unemployment rate, reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, will be, respectively above 60 percent and below 7.5 percent.” Detailed Terms »

PREDICTOR
Robert D Atkinson

CHALLENGER
Jason W Galbraith

STAKES $500

will go to Davidson Institute if Atkinson wins,
or Unitarian Universalist Service Committee if Galbraith wins.

Atkinson's Argument

Increasingly a large number of pundits and scholars, including Eric Brynjolfsson, Martin Ford, Andrew McAfee, and Vivek Wadhwa, have argued that technology is rapidly advancing and will soon lead large scale displacement of workers with technology. These views have rapidly become the prevailing wisdom regarding emerging technology with the result being that voters and policy makers are now more likely to resist technological change and automation, rather than embrace it.

But the "robots are killing our jobs" proponents miss the fact that automation lowers prices (or raises wages) which in turn spurs increased demand for goods and services, and hence labor. As such there is no reason to believe that either unemployment or the share of adults in the workforce will decline in any significantly way going forward.

Galbraith's Argument

The United States will certainly experience a recession in the next six years. As a result, the workforce participation rate will fall below 60 percent and this time, automation and de-industrialization will keep it there at least through June 2025.


Detailed Terms

For Rob to win, the Labor Force Participation Rate has to be above 60%, and the unemployment rate has to be below 7.5%. For the Unemployment Rate, we will use the National Unemployment Rate using the Current Population Survey as reported by Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the Labor Force Participation Rate, we will also use Current Population Survey as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.