Technology and Income Inequality

Jesuit Perspectives: Technology and Income Inequality

C. Anton Ames, Creighton University, Martha Grabowski, Le Moyne College, Frederick Kaefer, Loyola University Chicago, Guille Mora, Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, México, Ravi Nath, Creighton University
July 12, 2021
Africa, Asia - Pacific, Europe, Latin & South America, North America
Information Systems
11 pages
business intelligence, documentary analysis, small and medium enterprises, income inequality, big data, technology solutions, digital divide
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There is mounting evidence that technology and automation are contributing to increasing income inequality. There is no doubt that technology improves productivity, accelerates economic growth, allows information and knowledge sharing, creates new jobs and opportunities, and provides access to basic services. However, it has also eliminated certain jobs primarily held by blue-collar workers. This in turn has amplified income inequality. Even blue-collar jobs now require certain digital and computer skills. Many workers lack the financial resources and the motivation to acquire new digital skills required for jobs in the new information economy. This further exacerbates the problem of income inequality. Thus, there is a need for a carefully and compassionately articulated public and private policy to address this societal dilemma.

This document provides a set of teaching resources, including questions, discussion points and instructor notes for incorporating Jesuit perspectives and values in the classroom. These resources are intended to be used as supplementary materials for Information Systems/Analytics courses. The resources are instructor-focused and meant for the instructor and not the students. This series from Inspirational Paradigm presents teaching resources focused in information systems and analytics with five categories including: Data for Good (DFG), Income Inequality (INI), Algorithm Biases (AB), Privacy (P), and Ethics (ETH). The document available on this page focuses on Income Inequality (INI).

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Recognize the social justice issues related to IT and data analytics: digital divide, data and algorithm biases, and income inequality.
  2. Understand the technology ethical issues (loss of privacy, rumors & misinformation; data ownership and data access)
  3. Understand the role IT and IS play for societal good (ability to inform public about health, finance, services, crisis management, environmental sustainability, etc.)