Tuesday 24 April 2018


The collision of demographics, automation and inequality

Karen Harris, Bain and Company Macro Trends Group

Bain’s new Labour 2030 analysis shows that the collision of demographics, automation and inequality have the potential to dramatically reshape our world, triggering economic disruption far greater than we have experienced over the past 60 years.

In the US, a new wave of investment in automation could stimulate as much as $8 trillion in incremental investments and abruptly lift interest rates. By the end of the 2020s, automation may eliminate 20% to 25% of current jobs, hitting middle- to low-income workers the hardest.

As investments peak and then decline, anemic demand-growth is likely to constrain economic expansion, and global interest rates may again test zero percent. Faced with market imbalances and growth-stifling levels of inequality, many societies may seek to reset the government’s role in the marketplace.

Bain and Company’s Chairman, Orit Gadiesh, will introduce Karen Harris one of this report’s three authors, for a discussion of the findings.

Karen Harris

Karen is the Managing Director of Bain and Company’s Macro Trends Group which helps clients understand the impact of the volatile global environment on their businesses. She frequently works with institutional investors to embed macro strategy into their investment strategy and due diligence.

She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Committee on US-China Relations and the Economics Club of New York.

She graduated from Stanford University, holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard, and a JD from Columbia Law School.

"Automation could fuel a 10- to 15-year boom followed by a bust."