IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/labour/v37y2023i1p33-95.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Automation, robots and wage inequality in Germany: A decomposition analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Franziska Brall
  • Ramona Schmid

Abstract

We conduct a decomposition analysis based on recentred influence function (RIF) regressions to disentangle the relative importance of automation and robotization for wage inequality in the manufacturing sector in Germany between 1996 and 2017. Our measure of automation threat combines occupation‐specific scores of automation risk with sector‐specific robot densities. We find that besides changes in the composition of individual characteristics, structural shifts among different automation threat groups are a non‐negligible factor associated with wage inequality between 1996 and 2017. Moreover, the increase in wage dispersion among the different automation threat groups has contributed significantly to higher wage inequality in the 1990s and 2000s.

Suggested Citation

  • Franziska Brall & Ramona Schmid, 2023. "Automation, robots and wage inequality in Germany: A decomposition analysis," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 37(1), pages 33-95, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:37:y:2023:i:1:p:33-95
    DOI: 10.1111/labr.12236
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/labr.12236
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/labr.12236?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Antonczyk, Dirk & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2010. "Rising wage inequality, the decline of collective bargaining, and the gender wage gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 835-847, October.
    2. David Card & Jörg Heining & Patrick Kline, 2013. "Workplace Heterogeneity and the Rise of West German Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 128(3), pages 967-1015.
    3. Eberle, Johanna & Jacobebbinghaus, Peter & Ludsteck, Johannes & Witter, Julia, 2011. "Generation of time-consistent industry codes in the face of classification changes : Simple heuristic based on the Establishment History Panel (BHP)," FDZ Methodenreport 201105_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    5. repec:iab:iabfme:200502(en is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    7. Joel Kariel, 2021. "Job Creators or Job Killers? Heterogeneous Effects of Industrial Robots on UK Employment," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 35(1), pages 52-78, March.
    8. David Hémous & Morten Olsen, 2022. "The Rise of the Machines: Automation, Horizontal Innovation, and Income Inequality," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 179-223, January.
    9. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    10. Prettner, Klaus & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Innovation, automation, and inequality: Policy challenges in the race against the machine," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 249-265.
    11. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
    12. de Vries, Gaaitzen J. & Gentile, Elisabetta & Miroudot, Sébastien & Wacker, Konstantin M., 2020. "The rise of robots and the fall of routine jobs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    13. Wolfgang Dauth & Sebastian Findeisen & Jens Suedekum & Nicole Woessner, 2021. "The Adjustment of Labor Markets to Robots [“Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings]," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(6), pages 3104-3153.
    14. Lankisch, Clemens & Prettner, Klaus & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2019. "How can robots affect wage inequality?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 161-169.
    15. Martin Biewen & Andos Juhasz, 2012. "Understanding Rising Income Inequality in Germany, 1999/2000–2005/2006," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(4), pages 622-647, December.
    16. Dengler, Katharina & Matthes, Britta, 2015. "Folgen der Digitalisierung für die Arbeitswelt : Substituierbarkeitspotenziale von Berufen in Deutschland," IAB-Forschungsbericht 201511, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    17. Massimo Anelli & Italo Colantone & Piero Stanig, 2019. "We Were The Robots: Automation and Voting Behavior in Western Europe," RF Berlin - CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1917, Rockwool Foundation Berlin (RF Berlin) - Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM).
    18. Sergio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 953-973, May.
    19. Kaltenberg, Mary & Foster-McGregor, Neil, 2020. "The impact of automation on inequality across Europe," MERIT Working Papers 2020-009, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    20. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2020. "Robots and Jobs: Evidence from US Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(6), pages 2188-2244.
    21. Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881.
    22. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2018. "The Race between Man and Machine: Implications of Technology for Growth, Factor Shares, and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(6), pages 1488-1542, June.
    23. Dirk Antonczyk & Thomas DeLeire & Bernd Fitzenberger, 2018. "Polarization and Rising Wage Inequality: Comparing the U.S. and Germany," Econometrics, MDPI, vol. 6(2), pages 1-33, April.
    24. Martin Biewen & Matthias Seckler, 2019. "Unions, Internationalization, Tasks, Firms, and Worker Characteristics: A Detailed Decomposition Analysis of Rising Wage Inequality in Germany," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(4), pages 461-498, December.
    25. repec:iab:iabfme:201105(en is not listed on IDEAS
    26. Bonin, Holger & Gregory, Terry & Zierahn, Ulrich, 2015. "Übertragung der Studie von Frey/Osborne (2013) auf Deutschland," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, volume 57, number 123310, June.
    27. Aksoy, Cevat Giray & Özcan, Berkay & Philipp, Julia, 2021. "Robots and the gender pay gap in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    28. Sergio P. Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2018. "Decomposing Wage Distributions Using Recentered Influence Function Regressions," Econometrics, MDPI, vol. 6(2), pages 1-40, May.
    29. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Brall, Franziska & Schmid, Ramona, 2020. "Automation, robots and wage inequality in Germany: A decomposition analysis," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 14-2020, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    2. Koomen, Miriam & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2022. "Occupational tasks and wage inequality in West Germany: A decomposition analysis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    3. Koomen, Miriam & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2022. "Occupational Tasks and Wage Inequality in Germany: A Decomposition Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 15702, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Glitz, Albrecht & Wissmann, Daniel, 2021. "Skill Premiums and the Supply of Young Workers in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    5. Fierro, Luca Eduardo & Caiani, Alessandro & Russo, Alberto, 2022. "Automation, Job Polarisation, and Structural Change," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 499-535.
    6. Jurkat, Anne & Klump, Rainer & Schneider, Florian, 2023. "Robots and Wages: A Meta-Analysis," EconStor Preprints 274156, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    7. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Prettner, Klaus, 2023. "Automation and population growth: Theory and cross-country evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 208(C), pages 345-358.
    8. Sasiwimon Warunsiri Paweenawat & Lusi Liao, 2022. "Brain over Brawn: Job Polarization, Structural Change, and Skill Prices," PIER Discussion Papers 189, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Kaltenberg, Mary & Foster-McGregor, Neil, 2020. "The impact of automation on inequality across Europe," MERIT Working Papers 2020-009, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    10. Bossler, Mario & Schank, Thorsten, 2020. "Wage Inequality in Germany after the Minimum Wage Introduction," IZA Discussion Papers 13003, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Daniel Baumgarten & Gabriel Felbermayr & Sybille Lehwald, 2020. "Dissecting Between‐Plant and Within‐Plant Wage Dispersion: Evidence from Germany," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 85-122, January.
    12. Biewen, Martin & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Rümmele, Marian, 2022. "Using Distribution Regression Difference-in-Differences to Evaluate the Effects of a Minimum Wage Introduction on the Distribution of Hourly Wages and Hours Worked," IZA Discussion Papers 15534, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. David E. Bloom & Klaus Prettner & Jamel Saadaoui & Mario Veruete, 2023. "Artificial intelligence and the skill premium," Papers 2311.09255, arXiv.org.
    14. Dirk Antonczyk & Thomas DeLeire & Bernd Fitzenberger, 2018. "Polarization and Rising Wage Inequality: Comparing the U.S. and Germany," Econometrics, MDPI, vol. 6(2), pages 1-33, April.
    15. Michael J. Böhm & Hans-Martin von Gaudecker & Felix Schran, 2024. "Occupation Growth, Skill Prices, and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 201-243.
    16. Ana L. Abeliansky & Klaus Prettner & Roman Stoellinger, 2023. "Infection Risk at Work, Automatability, and Employment," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp352, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    17. Kai Ingwersen & Stephan L. Thomsen, 2021. "The immigrant-native wage gap in Germany revisited," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 19(4), pages 825-854, December.
    18. David Autor & Caroline Chin & Anna M. Salomons & Bryan Seegmiller, 2022. "New Frontiers: The Origins and Content of New Work, 1940–2018," NBER Working Papers 30389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Peichl, Andreas & Popp, Martin, 2022. "Can the Labor Demand Curve Explain Job Polarization?," IAB-Discussion Paper 202221, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    20. Magda, Iga & Gromadzki, Jan & Moriconi, Simone, 2021. "Firms and wage inequality in Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 499-552.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:37:y:2023:i:1:p:33-95. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing or Christopher F. Baum (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/csrotit.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.