Robots and employment: evidence from Italy
Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, 2021, vol. 38, issue 2, No 13, 739-795
Abstract Increased robot diffusion has raised concerns for its possible negative impact on employment. Following an empirical approach in line with those applied to the US and Germany with contrasting results, this paper provides evidence about the effect of robots on employment outcomes in Italy (second European economy for robot stock) from the early 1990s up to 2016, both at the local labour market (LLM) level and at the worker level. In order to purge from demand and other confounding shocks, the identification relies on an instrumental variables strategy based on robots’ sectoral growth in other European countries. No harmful impact on total employment emerges from the LLM analysis; the estimated effect is negative when limited to manufacturing employment, but its statistical significance is weak or absent once concurrent trends relating to trade and ICT are controlled for. Results at the worker level show that incumbent workers in manufacturing were not damaged on average, with an overall positive (though not large) employment effect, driven by longer working relationships with the original firm; conditional on remaining at the original firm, the impact is also positive on wages. On the other hand, robot diffusion turns out to have contributed to reshaping the sectoral distribution of the new labour force inflows towards less robot intensive industries.
Keywords: Robot; Automation; Employment; Local labour markets; Matched employer–employee data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J23 J31 L11 L60 O33 R11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s40888-021-00223-x Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.
Working Paper: Robots and employment: evidence from Italy (2020)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:spr:epolit:v:38:y:2021:i:2:d:10.1007_s40888-021-00223-x
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics is currently edited by Alberto Quadrio Curzio
More articles in Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics from Springer, Fondazione Edison
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().