Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Adoption of advanced technologies: Productivity and labour market implications


 11 May 2021   15.30 -17.00 CEST Remote participation  

The webinar represented the 13th meeting of the Spatial Productivity Lab at the OECD Trento Centre and was organised in collaboration with the Productivity Partnership, Canada

Who we are

The Spatial Productivity Lab (SPL)

The Spatial Productivity Lab (SPL) at the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development is a dedicated research laboratory that works with local and global partners to advance knowledge about the ways regional policy and a better understanding of spatial links can improve productivity growth and thereby the creation of better jobs and well-being.

The Productivity Partnership, Canada

The Productivity Partnership aims to engage researchers interested in studying Canada’s productivity challenge. The project is funded by a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant and awarded to a team of Canadian researchers. The project’s goal is to increase the flow of existing knowledge (including data), and add to existing research capacity by bringing together thinkers from academia, public and private sectors, and funding their scholarly research.

Focus of this meeting

Adoption of advanced technologies: Productivity and labour market implications

Firms make continuous capital investments. Some of these investments have the potential to completely change the production process, in terms of productivity and in the role for existing employees. This SPL meeting collected insights on the implications of the adoption of advanced technologies for firms and workers, with a specific focus on the use of micro data and through local lens. The meeting combined empirical evidence from Canada and the US, as well as an OECD-wide perspective. The presentations served as a foundation for a panel discussion with the speakers.



Material & Information

Agenda & Meeting summary

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)



The event was open to civil society and all those interested in the topic upon free registration.


Digital event.




Speakers (in speaking order) 

Alexandra TSVETKOVA 

Coordinator, Spatial Productivity Lab, OECD Trento Centre for Local Development

Chair & Welcome



 Michael VEALLI

Michael VEALL
Professor of Economics, McMaster University and Director, Productivity Partnership, Canada

Welcome & Closure


Dostie BENOIT 

Professor, Department of Applied Economics, HEC Montréal, Canada

Adoption of advanced technologies by Quebec firms: Results from the survey on innovation and business strategies



Bryan HONG 

Bryan HONG
Assistant Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Henry W. Bloch School of Management, US

The Robot Revolution: Managerial and employment consequences for firms 





Professor, School of City & Regional Planning, Associate Dean for Research, College of Design, Georgia Institute of Technology, US

Robots, skill demand and manufacturing in US regional labour markets




Labour Market Economist, OECD

What happened to jobs at high risk of automation?






Event Partner 

Productivity Partnership

Previous SPL meetings

12th SPL meeting | 4 February | DIGITAL

Spatial productivity in the post-COVID world 

As the world is changed by the pandemic, the mechanisms defining productivity of firms and regions are likely to be reshaped. What will stay the same and what will be different? How the crisis can be used as an opportunity to leap forward to a more productive, but also more inclusive, world with no places left behind? The webinar offered an opportunity to explore these and other pressing questions through the lens of labour markets, regional innovation systems and resilience.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)


11th SPL meeting | 10 December 2020 | DIGITAL

Recent socioeconomic trends in Trentino and Alto-Adige/South Tyrol (Italy)

This meeting brought together the SPL and its partners to discuss the social and economic situation during the COVID-19 pandemic in our host region, Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol. Representatives of the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development, the Bank of Italy Trento Branch, the European Research Institute on Cooperatives and Social Enterprises (EURICSE) and the University of Trento presented recent analyses of the trends in contagion, mobility, industrial output, credit, labour markets and labour demand, as well as social economy.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)



10th SPL meeting | 29 October 2020 | DIGITAL

Business incentives and firm entry: The past, the present and the future

The effectiveness of business incentives is a subject of debate among researchers but is a popular tool of supporting regional and local economic development. This seminar offered different perspectives on the link (established in the past) between policy-mandated business support and new firm entry. The differing points of view served as a background for a roundtable discussion among academics and practitioners on the ways to make incentives more effective, to bridge academic research and policy practice and to boost firm formation during and after the pandemic.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)

9th SPL meeting | 3 September 2020 | DIGITAL

The new reality of teleworking: People, firms, places

The webinar brought together experts from academia, policy and policy research to share insights and discuss the impact of COVID-19 on teleworking/ homeworking and how the increase in working from home has affected mobility, productivity, wellbeing and local public policy.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)


8th SPL meeting | 7 May 2020 | DIGITAL

The world changed by COVID-19: Policy, economy, society

The impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic are highly localised. What are the regional dimensions of the crisis – from economy to policy to society – and how will regions emerge from the current crisis? Profound economic effects of the spread of coronavirus are already sorely felt across the world. The geographic pattern of the impacts on regional economies will not necessarily follow the pattern of the virus hot spots. Indeed, both geography and sectoral specialisation play a key role. Analyses of the pandemic’s labour impacts and regional policy responses together with a discussion of the ways to shape people’s expectations were presented at this SPL meeting.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)



7th SPL meeting | 20 February 2020 | Trento, Italy

SPL iconRegional connectivity and firm growth

The meeting was devoted to regional connectivity and firm growth. The first paper focused on the role of Global Value Chains (GVCs) and on the ways for regions to leverage connectivity for innovation and local growth. The second paper investigated the determinants of firm growth acceleration, which is a powerful economic driver.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)

6th SPL meeting | 11 December 2019 | Trento, Italy

SPL iconRecent economic trends in Italy and the Provinces of Trento and Bolzano

The meeting was devoted to the analysis of recent economic trends in Italy and the Spatial Productivity Lab's host region, the Provinces of Trento and Bolzano.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)


5th SPL meeting | 10 October 2019 | Venice, Italy

SPL iconSpatial productivity for regional and local development

The meeting presented a comprehensive overview of the literature, which identifies spatial and aspatial (those based on the firm- and industry-level research) productivity determinants. Invited speakers looked at specific mechanisms and processes related to geographical variations in productivity, such as agglomerations, Global Value Chains, migration, innovation networks and sorting of businesses and individuals across space.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)


4th SPL meeting | 17 April 2019 | Trento, Italy

SPL iconDemography and productivity

The meeting was devoted to the theme of demography and productivity. The first paper explored demographic employment patterns along business cycle, while the other offered insights into the needed productivity improvements to overcome the negative effects of aging. 

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)

3rd SPL meeting | 7 February 2019 | Trento, Italy

SPL iconEconomic resilience

The meeting was dedicated to economic resilience, an ability of places to withstand negative shocks and to recover. The two presented papers focused on how regions with different industrial organisation and structure respond to various shocks and what can be done to enhance resilience.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)

2nd SPL meeting | 4 December 2018 | Trento, Italy

SPL iconPlace-based policies promoting productivity

The meeting focused on the importance of place-based policies promoting productivity for regional and local development. 

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)


1st SPL meeting | 21 February 2018 | Trento Italy

SPL iconThe contribution of regions to the productivity of nations

The first informal meeting of the Spatial Productivity Lab hosted a presentation by Joaquim Oliveira Martins, OECD 




SPL Partners

‌ School of International Studies - Trento University Ispat ‌ ‌‌ 

Brescia University‌ 
Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum Sheffield University Management School  Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy - Ohio State University 
Euricse Productivity Partnership‌ 
CEPII Orkestra Gran Sasso Science Institute‌