Robots, Computers, and the Gender Wage Gap

49 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2019

See all articles by Suqin Ge

Suqin Ge

Virginia Tech - Department of Economics

Yu Zhou

Jinan University

Date Written: August 30, 2019


We analyze the effects of two automation technologies, industrial robots and computing equipment, on the gender wage gap in US local labor markets between 1990 and 2015. We find distinct impact of robot and computer capital: an increase in robots decreases male wage more than female wage, whereas an increase in computers reduces female wage more than male wage. According to our estimates, one additional unit of robot per thousand workers reduces gender wage gap by 0.3 log points, and by contrast an increase in computer capital by one million dollars per thousand workers increases gender wage gap by 3.7 log points.

Keywords: robots, computers, gender wage gap, automation, wages

JEL Classification: J16, J23, J24, J31, O33

Suggested Citation

Ge, Suqin and Zhou, Yu, Robots, Computers, and the Gender Wage Gap (August 30, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Suqin Ge (Contact Author)

Virginia Tech - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Yu Zhou

Jinan University ( email )

Huang Pu Da Dao Xi 601, Tian He District
Guangzhou, Guangdong 510632

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