Robots at Work

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 03.03.2015, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Guy Michaels (London School of Economics)


We analyze 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 labor productivity and value added. These results are robust when we instrument increased robot use with a measure of replaceability by robots, which relies on the tasks used in industries before the widespread use of robots. We calculate that the increased use of robots raised countries' growth rate by an average of about 0.36 percent. 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.

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