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Technology and the future of work in emerging economies: What is different

Technological developments are likely to bring many new opportunities, which may be even larger in emerging economies and may allow them to ‘leapfrog’ certain stages of development. Notwithstanding these opportunities, emerging economies face significant challenges associated with rapid technological progress. Many of these challenges are the same as in advanced economies, but differences in starting conditions may result in a greater threat for the emerging world. This study explores the benefits and risks brought by this new technological wave from the perspective of thirteen key emerging economies: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey. In particular, it examines: the risk of automation; whether labour markets are polarising; and the potential benefits (but also challenges) of the platform economy.