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Adjusting to Robots: Worker-Level Evidence

Wolfgang Dauth, Sebastian Findeisen, Jens Suedekum () and Nicole Woessner

No 13, Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers from Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Abstract: We estimate the effect of industrial robots on employment, wages, and the composition of jobs in German labor markets between 1994 and 2014. We find that the adoption of industrial robots had no effect on total employment in local labor markets specializing in industries with high robot usage. Robot adoption led to job losses in manufacturing that were offset by gains in the business service sector. We analyze the impact on individual workers and find that robot adoption has not increased the risk of displacement for incumbent manufacturing workers. They stay with their original employer, and many workers adjust by switching occupations at their original workplace. The loss of manufacturing jobs is solely driven by fewer new jobs for young labor market entrants. Moreover, we find that, in regions with higher exposure to automation, labor productivity increases while the labor share in total income declines.

Keywords: Automation; Inequality; Labor market institutions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 F16 R11 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 52 pages
Date: 2018-08-21, Revised 2018-08-21
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm, nep-lma, nep-ltv, nep-tid and nep-ure
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:fip:fedmoi:0013

DOI: 10.21034/iwp.13

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