The Rise of Robots and the Fall of Routine Jobs

42 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2021

See all articles by Gaaitzen J. De Vries

Gaaitzen J. De Vries

University of Groningen

Elisabetta Gentile

Asian Development Bank

S. Miroudot

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Trade Directorate (ECH)

Konstantin M. Wacker

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business

Date Written: August 28, 2020

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

De Vries, Gaaitzen J. and Gentile, Elisabetta and Miroudot, Sebastien and Wacker, Konstantin M., The Rise of Robots and the Fall of Routine Jobs (August 28, 2020). Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper Series No. 619, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3769886 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3769886

Gaaitzen J. De Vries

University of Groningen

Elisabetta Gentile (Contact Author)

Asian Development Bank ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila
Philippines

Sebastien Miroudot

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Trade Directorate (ECH) ( email )

2, rue André-Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Konstantin M. Wacker

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business ( email )

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/rug.nl/kmwacker

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