IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Robots at Work: Automatable and Non Automatable Jobs


  • Josten, Cecily

    (London School of Economics)

  • Lordan, Grace

    (London School of Economics)


This study builds on Autor and Dorn's (2013) classification of automatable work at the three-digit occupation code level to identify additional jobs that will be automatable in the next decade by drawing on patent data. Based on this new classification the study provides estimates of the share of jobs that we expect to be automatable in the EU and across 25 individual countries. The study highlights that aspects of 47% of jobs will be automatable over the next decade, with 35% of all jobs being fully automatable. It also provides some evidence that 'thinking' and 'people' skills will become increasingly important for the fourth industrial revolution. The study puts emphasis on the fact that these estimates are based on static models. Assuming that some of the rents from labor technology will filter back into the economy it is expected that other occupations will expand in number as people consume more goods and services.

Suggested Citation

  • Josten, Cecily & Lordan, Grace, 2019. "Robots at Work: Automatable and Non Automatable Jobs," IZA Discussion Papers 12520, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12520

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Georg Graetz & Guy Michaels, 2018. "Robots at Work," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 753-768, December.
    2. Tim Kautz & James J. Heckman & Ron Diris & Bas ter Weel & Lex Borghans, 2014. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Improving Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills to Promote Lifetime Success," OECD Education Working Papers 110, OECD Publishing.
    3. Greenhalgh, C & Longland, M & Bosworth, D, 2001. "Technological Activity and Employment in a Panel of UK Firms," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 48(3), pages 260-282, August.
    4. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2015. "Untangling Trade and Technology: Evidence from Local Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(584), pages 621-646, May.
    5. Lordan, Grace & Neumark, David, 2018. "People versus machines: The impact of minimum wages on automatable jobs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 40-53.
    6. 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.
    7. Lordan, Grace, 2018. "Robots at work: a report on automatable and non-automatable employment shares in Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 90500, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. C. Greenhalgh & M. Longland & D. Bosworth, 2001. "Technological Activity and Employment in a Panel of UK Firms," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 48(3), pages 260-282, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Leonardo Gasparini & Irene Brambilla & Guillermo Falcone & Carlo Lombardo & Andrés César, 2021. "The Risk of Automation in Latin America," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0281, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    2. Grace Lordan, 2019. "People versus machines in the UK: Minimum wages, labor reallocation and automatable jobs," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(12), pages 1-16, December.
    3. Sylvie Blasco, 2022. "Replaced or depressed? The effect of automation risk on workers' mental health," French Stata Users' Group Meetings 2022 09, Stata Users Group.
    4. Mauro Caselli & Andrea Fracasso & Sergio Scicchitano & Silvio Traverso & Enrico Tundis, 2021. "Stop worrying and love the robot: An activity-based approach to assess the impact of robotization on employment dynamics," DEM Working Papers 2021/06, Department of Economics and Management.
    5. Lordan, Grace & Stringer, Eliza-Jane, 2022. "People versus Machines: The Impact of Being in an Automatable Job on Australian Worker's Mental Health and Life Satisfaction," IZA Discussion Papers 15182, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    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. Josten, Cecily & Lordan, Grace, 2022. "Automation and the Changing Nature of Work," IZA Discussion Papers 15180, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Basso, Henrique S. & Jimeno, Juan F., 2021. "From secular stagnation to robocalypse? Implications of demographic and technological changes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 833-847.
    3. Lordan, Grace & Mcguire, Alistair, 2019. "Widening the high school curriculum to include soft skill training: impacts on health, behaviour, emotional wellbeing and occupational aspirations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 101234, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Dechezleprêtre, Antoine & Hémous, David & olsen, morten & Zanella, carlo, 2019. "Automating Labor: Evidence from Firm-level Patent Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 14249, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Marcel Steffen Eckardt, 2022. "Minimum wages in an automating economy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 24(1), pages 58-91, February.
    6. Maarek, Paul & Moiteaux, Elliot, 2021. "Polarization, employment and the minimum wage: Evidence from European local labor markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    7. 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.
    8. Gregory, Terry & Salomons, Anna & Zierahn, Ulrich, 2016. "Racing With or Against the Machine? Evidence from Europe," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145843, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Sergio De Nardis & Francesca Parente, 2022. "Technology and task changes in the major EU countries," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(2), pages 391-413, April.
    10. Ester Faia & Sebastien Laffitte & Maximilian Mayer & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2020. "Automation, globalization and vanishing jobs: a labor market sorting view," CEP Discussion Papers dp1695, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. Genz, Sabrina & Schnabel, Claus, 2021. "Digging into the Digital Divide: Workers' Exposure to Digitalization and Its Consequences for Individual Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 14649, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Aleksandra Parteka & Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz & Dagmara Nikulin, 2021. "How digital technology affects working conditions in globally fragmented production chains: evidence from Europe," GUT FME Working Paper Series A 66, Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdansk University of Technology.
    13. Kristina Vaičiūtė & Aušra Katinienė & Gintautas Bureika, 2022. "The Synergy between Technological Development and Logistic Cooperation of Road Transport Companies," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(21), pages 1-22, November.
    14. Jongwanich, Juthathip & Kohpaiboon, Archanun & Obashi, Ayako, 2022. "Technological advancement, import penetration and labour markets: Evidence from Thailand," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    15. Luisa Gagliardi, 2014. "Employment and Technological Change: On the Geography of Labour Market Adjustments," SERC Discussion Papers 0165, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    16. Jean-Philippe Deranty & Thomas Corbin, 2022. "Artificial Intelligence and work: a critical review of recent research from the social sciences," Papers 2204.00419,
    17. Sharon Belenzon & Victor Manuel Bennett & Andrea Patacconi, 2019. "Flexible Production and Entry: Institutional, Technological, and Organizational Determinants," Strategy Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(3), pages 193-216, September.
    18. Burkhard Heer & Andreas Irmen & Bernd Süssmuth, 2020. "Explaining the Decline in the US Labor Share: Taxation and Automation," DEM Discussion Paper Series 20-20, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    19. Montobbio, Fabio & Staccioli, Jacopo & Virgillito, Maria Enrica & Vivarelli, Marco, 2022. "Robots and the origin of their labour-saving impact," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 174(C).
    20. Andrew Copus & Dimitris Skuras & Kyriaki Tsegenidi, 2006. "Innovation and Peripherality: A Comparative Study in Six EU Member Countries," ERSA conference papers ersa06p295, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item


    skills; labor markets; robots;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:iza:izadps:dp12520. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    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: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.