Amongst others, two interesting and influential books have recently been published, which question the future of capitalist market societies in the light of the third industrial revolution. Both J. Rifkin’s “The Zero Marginal Cost Society” as well as P. Manson’s “Post Capitalism” are accounts of the inherent destruction of capitalism brought about by the collapse of the market system through the availability of abundance and the resulting collapse of the price system regulating our economic lives up until now. This paper is an attempt to model those changes within the framework of a neoclassical growth model, through the inclusion of a sector modelling the “sharing” economy and a division of households into capitalists and workers. The aim of this paper is to analyse the effect of those changes on the labour supply. We theoretically evaluates the claim that the third industrial revolution, through the replacement of scarcity with abundance will produce a radically new reality of employment and exchange. Where it is conceivable that people opt out of full employment and shift the focus of their lives to a less growth oriented existence. Our findings indicate, that even though we have been waiting long enough for capitalism to self destruct, there is little evidence, if we remain in the current neoclassical framework for this to happen trough technological changes alone. This paper aims at demonstrating that the changes brought about by technology give ample room for future hope, but also that unless we fundamentally change institutions and values this may be a lost opportunity with potentially devastating consequences for equality and ecology.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „The third industrial revolution and its effect on working hours in the current economic framework; on visions, possibilities and dreams in the world of profits, costs and growth. “ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.