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Development of Survey Questions on Robotics Expenditures and Use in U.S. Manufacturing Establishments


  • Catherine Buffington
  • Javier Miranda
  • Robert Seamans


The U.S. Census Bureau in partnership with a team of external researchers developed a series of questions on the use of robotics in U.S. manufacturing establishments. The questions include: (1) capital expenditures for new and used industrial robotic equipment in 2018, (2) number of industrial robots in operation in 2018, and (3) number of industrial robots purchased in 2018. These questions are to be included in the 2018 Annual Survey of Manufactures. This paper documents the background and cognitive testing process used for the development of these questions.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Buffington & Javier Miranda & Robert Seamans, 2018. "Development of Survey Questions on Robotics Expenditures and Use in U.S. Manufacturing Establishments," Working Papers 18-44, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:18-44

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Adela Luque & Javier Miranda, 2000. "Technology Use and Worker Outcomes: Direct Evidence from Linked Employee-Employer Data," Working Papers 00-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Georg Graetz & Guy Michaels, 2018. "Robots at Work," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 753-768, December.
    3. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R. Troske, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-290.
    4. Jason Furman & Robert Seamans, 2019. "AI and the Economy," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 161-191.
    5. Ethan Lewis, 2005. "Immigration, Skill Mix, and the Choice of Technique," Working Papers 05-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    1. Nikolas Zolas & Zachary Kroff & Erik Brynjolfsson & Kristina McElheran & David N. Beede & Cathy Buffington & Nathan Goldschlag & Lucia Foster & Emin Dinlersoz, 2020. "Advanced Technologies Adoption and Use by U.S. Firms: Evidence from the Annual Business Survey," NBER Working Papers 28290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Derrick Choe & Alexander Oettl & Robert Seamans, 2020. "What’s Driving Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Transport Sector?," NBER Working Papers 27284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2020. "Heterogeneous Relationships between Automation Technologies and Skilled Labor: Evidence from a Firm Survey," Discussion papers 20004, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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