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Robots at work

Graetz, Georg and Michaels, Guy (2015) Robots at work. CEP discussion paper (CEPDP1335). Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), London, UK.

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Abstract

Despite ubiquitous discussions of robots’ potential impact, there is almost no systematic empirical evidence on their economic effects. In this paper we analyze for the first time the economic impact of industrial robots, using new data on a panel of industries in 17 countries from 1993-2007. We find that industrial robots increased both labor productivity and value added. Our panel identification is robust to numerous controls, and we find similar results instrumenting increased robot use with a measure of workers’ replaceability by robots, which is based on the tasks prevalent in industries before robots were widely employed. We calculate that the increased use of robots raised countries’ average growth rates by about 0.37 percentage points. We also find that robots increased both wages and total factor productivity. While robots had no significant effect on total hours worked, there is some evidence that they reduced the hours of both low-skilled and middle-skilled workers.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: Economics
Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
JEL classification: E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment > E23 - Production
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J23 - Employment Determination; Job Creation; Demand for Labor; Self-Employment
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O30 - General
Sets: Departments > Economics
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2015 15:56
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2019 23:29
Projects: Labour Markets Programme, CEP
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/61155

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