Research Project

The Economic Impact of Advanced Technology and Automation on the Oil and Gas Sector

Professor Erik Brynjolfsson (MIT IDE) and Dr. Mohammad Omar (Masdar Institute, Abu Dhabi)

Technology is having profound effects on the nature of jobs in economies around the world.  While past innovation has typically created more jobs than those displaced, the pattern has been changing in the recent years.  The new dynamic challenges the efforts of governments around the world to sustain positive job creation trends, and represents perhaps the greatest economic challenge and opportunity of our era.  An additional challenge for the Oil and Gas sector in Abu Dhabi is managing these changes in a workforce that contains a significant number of expatriate workers.  Leadership in automation may help to the Emirate to maintain positive economic growth in the Oil and Gas sector while sustaining a balanced socioeconomic and political environment.  What skills and occupations are most likely to be displaced by technology?  Which ones will likely continue and even grow?  How can governments foster policies that will lead to sustainable job trends for the foreseeable future?  This project analyzes these questions by using rigorous econometric analyses and case studies to advance the frontier of economic research while informing a framework for policymaking in the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision.