Industrial Robots, Workers' Safety, and Health

58 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2022 Last revised: 14 Apr 2023

See all articles by Rania Gihleb

Rania Gihleb

University of Pittsburgh

Osea Giuntella

University of Pittsburgh

Luca Stella

Free University Berlin

Tianyi Wang

Princeton University

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2022

Abstract

This study explores the relationship between the adoption of industrial robots and workplace injuries. Using establishment-level data on injuries, we find that a one standard deviation increase in our commuting zone-level measure of robot exposure reduces work-related annual injury rates by approximately 1.2 cases per 100 workers. US commuting zones more exposed to robot penetration experience a significant increase in drug- or alcohol-related deaths and mental health problems. Employing longitudinal data from Germany, we exploit within-individual changes in robot exposure and document that a one standard deviation change in robot exposure led to a 4% decline in physical job intensity and a 5% decline in disability, but no evidence of significant effects on mental health and work and life satisfaction.

Suggested Citation

Gihleb, Rania and Giuntella, Osea and Stella, Luca and Wang, Tianyi, Industrial Robots, Workers' Safety, and Health (June 2022). NBER Working Paper No. w30180, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4147250

Rania Gihleb (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Osea Giuntella

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Luca Stella

Free University Berlin ( email )

Germany

Tianyi Wang

Princeton University ( email )

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

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