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Robots, Jobs, and Optimal Fertility Timing


  • Claudio Costanzo


Labor automation is generally associated with a decrease in demand for mid-skill jobs,often routine-intensive, in favor of the others. This paper investigates its effects onfertility timing decisions using European panel data, by constructing a measure of localexposure to industrial robotics, and by adopting a Fixed Effect with Two-StageLeast Squares methodology. Higher exposure is associated with an anticipation offertility in low- and high-skilled regional labor markets, and with its postponementin medium-skilled ones. An optimal stopping model, in which individuals adjust thetiming based on their future labor opportunities, formalizes the causal intuition. Itsnumerical application, based on survey data, suggests that the effect of an increase inobserved automation on the willingness to postpone fertility is concave with respect toeducation, consistently with the Routine-Biased Technological Change hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudio Costanzo, 2022. "Robots, Jobs, and Optimal Fertility Timing," Working Papers ECARES 2022-36, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/351586

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    More about this item


    Automation; Demography; Fertility; Robots;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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