The Missing Link: Automation Risk, Dual VET, and Social Policy Preferences

About this Session


Wed. 10.04. 15:05



Authors – Matthias Haslberger , Patrick Emmenegger , Niccolo Durazzi

Abstract :

How does automation risk affect social policy preferences? We advance the lively debate surrounding this question by focusing on the moderating role of education and training institutions. In particular, we develop a theoretical argument that foregrounds the role of dual VET systems. While existing literature would lead us to expect that dual VET systems increase demand for compensatory social policy and magnify the effect of automation risk on such demand, we contend that the opposite holds true. We hypothesize that dual VET systems weaken demand for compensatory social policy and dampen the effect of automation risk on demand for compensatory social policy through three non-mutually exclusive mechanisms that we refer to as (i) skill certification; (ii) material self-interest; and (iii) workplace socialization. Analyzing cross-national individual data from ESS, fine-grained data on individual educational background from the German ESS module as well as national-level OECD data on education and training systems, we find strong evidence in favor of our argument. The paper does not only advance the debate on social policy preferences in the age of automation but it also sheds new light on an old debate, namely the relationship between skill “specificity” and social policy preferences.