The rise of robots and the fall of routine jobs

Gaaitzen J. de Vries*, Elisabetta Gentile, Sebastien Miroudot, Konstantin M. Wacker

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This paper examines the impact of industrial robots on jobs. We combine data on robot adoption and occupations by industry in thirty-seven countries for the period from 2005 to 2015. We exploit differences across industries in technical feasibility – defined as the industry's share of tasks replaceable by robots – to identify the impact of robot usage on employment. The data allow us to differentiate effects by the routine-intensity of employment. We find that a rise in robot adoption relates significantly to a fall in the employment share of routine manual task-intensive jobs. This relation is observed in high-income countries, but not in emerging market and transition economies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101885
Number of pages18
JournalLabour Economics
Volume66
Early online date11-Jul-2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2020

Keywords

  • Robots
  • Tasks
  • Occupations
  • Eployment
  • TECHNOLOGICAL-CHANGE
  • INEQUALITY
  • EMPLOYMENT
  • FUTURE
  • TASKS

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