We study the effects of robot exposure on worker flows in 16 European countries. Overall, we find small negative effects on job separations and small positive effects on job findings. Labour costs are shown to be a major driver of cross-country differences: in countries with lower labour costs, robot exposure had more positive effects on hirings and more negative effects on separations. These effects were particularly pronounced for workers in occupations intensive in routine manual or routine cognitive tasks, but were insignificant in occupations intensive in non-routine cognitive tasks. For young and old workers in countries with lower labour costs, robot exposure had a beneficial effect on transitions. Our results imply that robot adoption increased employment and reduced unemployment in most European countries, mainly through lower job separation rates.

keywords: robots, technological change, tasks, labour market effects, Europe

JEL codes: , ,

publication year: 2022

language : English

thematic categories :

publishing series : IBS Working Paper

publication number : 01/2022

ISSN : 2451-4373

additional information: We thank Hanna Frings, Sandra Schaffner, Bernhard Schmidpeter, and Eduard Storm; and the participants of SOLE 2021, ESPE 2021, the Jobs and Development Conference 2021, SMYE 2021, the 7th European User Conference for EU Microdata, and a seminar at RWI for helpful their comments. This paper uses Eurostat data. Eurostat has no responsibility for the results and the conclusions, which are those of the authors. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No. 1001004776.

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Myrielle Gonschor

Myrielle Gonschor - Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Essen; RGS, Essen

Ronald Bachmann

Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Essen, DICE/Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf; IZA, Bonn

Karol Madoń

Institute for Structural Research

Piotr Lewandowski

Institute for Structural Research (IBS)

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