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Robots at work

Graetz, Georg and Michaels, Guy ORCID: 0000-0002-8796-4536 (2018) Robots at work. Review of Economics and Statistics, 100 (5). pp. 753-768. ISSN 0034-6535

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Identification Number: 10.1162/rest_a_00754


We analyze for the first time the economic contributions of modern industrial robots, which are flexible, versatile, and autonomous machines. We use novel panel data on robot adoption within industries in 17 countries from 1993-2007, and new instrumental variables that rely on robots’ comparative advantage in specific tasks. Our findings suggest that increased robot use contributed approximately 0.37 percentage points to annual labor productivity growth, while at the same time raising total factor productivity and lowering output prices. Our estimates also suggest that robots did not significantly reduce total employment, although they did reduce low-skilled workers’ employment share

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Divisions: Economics
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
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2018 11:44
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:38
Projects: ES/H02123X/1
Funders: Economic & Social Research Council

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