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People versus machines: The impact of being in an automatable job on Australian worker’s mental health and life satisfaction

Grace Lordan and Eliza-Jane Stringer

Economics & Human Biology, 2022, vol. 46, issue C

Abstract: This study explores the effect on mental health and life satisfaction of working in an automatable job. We utilise an Australian panel dataset (HILDA), and take a fixed effects linear regression approach, to relate a person being in automatable work to proxies of their wellbeing. Overall, we find evidence that automatable work has a small, detrimental impact on the mental health and life satisfaction of workers within some industries, particularly those with higher levels of job automation risk, such as manufacturing. Furthermore, we find no strong trends to suggest that any particular demographic group is disproportionately impacted across industries. These findings are robust to a variety of specifications. We also find evidence of adaptation to these effects after one-year tenure on the job, indicating a limited role for firm policy.

Keywords: Automation; Life satisfaction; Mental health; Job security (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 J20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:46:y:2022:i:c:s1570677x22000405

DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2022.101144

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