The Impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the Future of Work in the ASEAN Economic Community


About the Seminar

Participation in global value chains has helped create jobs not only in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), but developing Asia as a whole. However, there is rising concern that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) could displace workers. Our research finds several reasons to remain optimistic. First, 4IR technologies tend to be concentrated in already capital-intensive sectors. Second, demand for goods and services from a rising middle class is sustaining employment growth in developing Asia. Third, new technologies create entirely new occupations.

Nonetheless, there is mounting evidence that 4IR technologies tend to complement workers at the higher end of the skill distribution (i.e. nonroutine cognitive occupations) and substitute workers at the lower end (i.e. routine manual occupations), and that could exacerbate inequality and skill shortages in developing Asia. Given the importance of labour mobility as a tool to alleviate skills mismatches, our book sets out to document the ASEAN experience with skill mobility. We take stock of the current state of skill mobility in the region and the obstacles still standing to its completion. Next, we illustrate its economic potential for the region and the role that it will play in the future of work.

About the Speaker

Elisabetta Gentile is a development economist focusing mainly on innovation, technology, and education at the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). She is published in top economics journals, co-authored the theme chapter on “How technology affects Jobs” for the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018, and has additional articles under review for publication. Her book on skill mobility in the ASEAN Economic Community has widened her research portfolio to include skilled labor migration. Dr Gentile was previously a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the National University of Singapore. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economic from the University of Houston. She also has a M.S. in Financial Management from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a Laurea in Public Policy and International Organizations from Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy).

Dr Gentile’s book titled “Skilled Labor Mobility and Migration: Challenges and Opportunities for the ASEAN Economic Community” can be accessed at:


For registration, please click here. Registration closes on 9 December 2019.


Dec 11 2019


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2