German Robots - The Impact of Industrial Robots on Workers
Sï¿½dekum, Jens and
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Jens Suedekum ()
No 12306, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers
We study the impact of rising robot exposure on the careers of individual manufacturing workers, and the equilibrium impact across industries and local labor markets in Germany. We find no evidence that robots cause total job losses, but they do affect the composition of aggregate employment. Every robot destroys two manufacturing jobs. This accounts for almost 23% of the overall decline of manufacturing employment in Germany over the period 1994 - 2014, roughly 275,000 jobs. But this loss was fully offset by additional jobs in the service sector. Moreover, robots have not raised the displacement risk for incumbent manufacturing workers. Quite in contrast, more robot exposed workers are even more likely to remain employed in their original workplace, though not necessarily performing the same tasks, and the aggregate manufacturing decline is solely driven by fewer new jobs for young labor market entrants. This enhanced job stability for insiders comes at the cost of lower wages. The negative impact of robots on individual earnings arises mainly for medium-skilled workers in machine-operating occupations, while high-skilled managers gain. In the aggregate, robots raise labor productivity but not wages. Thereby they contribute to the decline of the labor income share.
Keywords: Germany; labor market effects; robots; skill-biased technological change (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F16 J24 O33 R11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-hrm, nep-lma, nep-tid and nep-ure
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (62) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Working Paper: German robots - the impact of industrial robots on workers (2017)
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:cpr:ceprdp:12306
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.cepr.org/ ... rs/dp.php?dpno=12306
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers Centre for Economic Policy Research, 33 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DX.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().