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Machine Learning Curve

Artificial Intelligence and High-Skilled Work: Evidence from Analysts


How is artificial intelligence (AI) changing high-skilled labor markets? We investigate this concern using task-specific data for equity analysts. Exploiting variation in the abundance of data across stocks, we show analysts with coverage that is more exposed to big data are more likely to reallocate efforts to soft skills, shift coverage away from big data stocks, and even leave the profession. Departures occur among highly accurate analysts, who leave for non-research jobs, while socially networked MBAs stay. Complementary tasks that use analysts’ soft information advantage (e.g., meeting management or researching intangibles) help to improve consensus forecasts. However, increased competition from external AI technologies reduce the novelty in analysts’ research and that reduces compensation.

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