Tracking the rise of robots: A survey of the IFR database and its applications
Anne Jurkat and
MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany
Robots are continuously transforming industrial production worldwide and thereby also inducing changes in a variety of production-related economic and social relations. While some observers call this transformation an unprecedented "revolution", others regard it as a common pattern of capitalist development. This paper contributes to the literature on the effects of the rise of industrial robots in three ways. Firstly, we describe the historic evolution and organizational structure of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), which collects data on the international distribution of industrial robots by country, industry, and application from industrial robot suppliers worldwide since 1993. Secondly, we extensively analyze this IFR dataset on industrial robots and point out its specificities and limitations. We develop a correspondence table between IFR industry classification and the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) Revision 4 and shed some light on the price development of industrial robots by compiling data on robot price indices. We further compute implicit depreciation rates inherent to the operational stocks of robots in the IFR dataset and find an average depreciation rate of aggregate robot stocks between 4% and 7% per year between 1993 and 2019. Moreover, tracking the share of industrial robots that are not classified to any industry or application we find that their share in total robot stocks has sharply declined after 2005. The average value of 45% of unspecified industrial robots at country level is therefore likely to shrink in the future. We also compare IFR data with other data sources such as UN Comtrade data on net imports and unit prices of industrial robots or data on robot adoption from firm-level surveys in selected countries. Thirdly, we provide a comprehensive overview of the empirical research on industrial robots that is based on the IFR dataset. We identify four important strands of research on the rise of robots: (i) patterns of robot adoption and industrial organization, (ii) productivity and growth effect of robot adoption, (iii) its impact on employment and wages, and (iv) its influence on demographics, health, and politics.
Keywords: Robots; productivity; growth; employment; industry classification; depreciation rates; IFR (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 E1 J2 J24 O3 O33 O4 O47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa, nep-lma and nep-tid
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)
https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/107909/1/MPRA_paper_107909.pdf original version (application/pdf)
https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/109814/1/MPRA_paper_109814.pdf revised version (application/pdf)
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:pra:mprapa:107909
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Joachim Winter ().