The Rise of Robots and the Fall of Routine Jobs
42 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2021
Date Written: August 28, 2020
This paper examines the impact of industrial robots on jobs. We combine data on robot adoption and occupations by industry in 37 economies for the period 2005–2015. 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 economies, but not in emerging market and transition economies.
Keywords: employment, occupations, robots, tasks
JEL Classification: E23, J23, O30
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