TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 17 (no. 2),

The article deals with the characteristics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A new periodization of the four industrial revolutions is given; the differences between them in terms of the impact on the labor market are considered. The concepts of Malthusian and neo-Malthusian traps are introduced, the fundamental differences between them and the ways out of them are discussed. The author shows that the main element of the civilizational cognitive dissonance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the devaluation of labor as such, including mental work. The value of digital platforms for strengthening the role of trade in comparison with production is estimated; as the author argues, this process is due to the nature of production, which is local, and nature of trade, which is global. The thesis is substantiated, according to which the scale effect acquires the features of technological marginality, shifting to the beginning and the end of the product life cycle. The quantitative, qualitative and auxiliary cerebral differences between people are considered. The author justifies that under new conditions the existing biological inequality will aggravate the growth of social inequality. At the same time, gender differences in the professional sphere will be more and more leveled. The possible disruption of Arrighi cycles due to that United States will either remain as a center of capital or United Europe becomes the new center; China is losing its advantages associated with labor reserves in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Citation: Balatsky, E. V. (2019). Global challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Terra Economicus, 17(2), 6–22. DOI: 10.23683/2073-6606-2019-17-2-6-22

Keywords: cycles of Arrighi; scale effect; social inequality; industrial revolution

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Publisher: Southern Federal University
Founder: Southern Federal University
ISSN: 2073-6606