IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/cegedp/351.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Robots, reshoring, and the lot of low-skilled workers

Author

Listed:
  • Krenz, Astrid
  • Prettner, Klaus
  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

We propose a theoretical framework to analyze the offshoring and reshoring decisions of firms in the age of automation. Our theory suggests that increasing productivity in automation leads to a relocation of previously offshored production back to the home economy but without improving low-skilled wages and without creating jobs for low-skilled workers. Since it leads also to increasing wages for high-skilled workers, automation induced reshoring is associated with an increasing skill premium and increasing inequality. Using a new measure of reshoring activity and data from the world input outputtable, we find evidence for a positive association between reshoring and the degree of automation. On average, within manufacturing sectors, an increase by one robot per 1000 workers is associated with a 3.5% increase of reshoring activity. We also provide evidence that reshoring is positively associated with wages and employment for high-skilled labor but not for low-skilled labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Krenz, Astrid & Prettner, Klaus & Strulik, Holger, 2018. "Robots, reshoring, and the lot of low-skilled workers," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 351, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:351
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/180197/1/1026007828.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lorenzo Caliendo & Fernando Parro, 2019. "The Quantitative Effects of Trade Policy on Industry and Labor Locations," 2019 Meeting Papers 1575, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & David Autor, 2012. "What Does Human Capital Do? A Review of Goldin and Katz's The Race between Education and Technology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 426-463, June.
    3. Sascha O. Becker & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2015. "Trade and tasks: an exploration over three decades in Germany," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(84), pages 589-641.
    4. Georg Graetz & Guy Michaels, 2018. "Robots at Work," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 753-768, December.
    5. Melanie Arntz & Terry Gregory & Ulrich Zierahn, 2016. "The Risk of Automation for Jobs in OECD Countries: A Comparative Analysis," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 189, OECD Publishing.
    6. David H. Autor & David Dorn, 2013. "The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the US Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1553-1597, August.
    7. Marcel P. Timmer & Mary O’Mahony & Bart van Ark, 2007. "EU KLEMS Growth and Productivity Accounts: An Overview," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 14, pages 71-85, Spring.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2017. "Robots and Jobs: Evidence from US Labor Markets," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series dp-297, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    9. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2019. "Automation and New Tasks: How Technology Displaces and Reinstates Labor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
    10. 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.
    11. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Prettner, Klaus, 2017. "Automation and demographic change," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168215, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. 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.
    13. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2018. "Demographics and Automation," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-299, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    14. Faber, Marius, 2020. "Robots and reshoring: Evidence from Mexican labor markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    15. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2018. "Demographics and Automation," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series dp-299, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    16. Frey, Carl Benedikt & Osborne, Michael A., 2017. "The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 254-280.
    17. Prettner, Klaus, 2019. "A Note On The Implications Of Automation For Economic Growth And The Labor Share," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 1294-1301, April.
    18. Jones, C.I., 2016. "The Facts of Economic Growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 3-69, Elsevier.
    19. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning & Anna Salomons, 2014. "Explaining Job Polarization: Routine-Biased Technological Change and Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2509-2526, August.
    20. Mary O'Mahony & Marcel P. Timmer, 2009. "Output, Input and Productivity Measures at the Industry Level: The EU KLEMS Database," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages 374-403, June.
    21. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2003. "The Band Pass Filter," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 435-465, May.
    22. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    23. Prettner, Klaus & Strulik, Holger, 2017. "The lost race against the machine: Automation, education and inequality in an R&D-based growth model," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 08-2017, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    24. Peter Neary & Giovanni Maggi & Monika Mrázová, 2018. "Choked by Red Tape? The Political Economy of Wasteful Trade Barriers," Economics Series Working Papers 847, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    25. World Bank, 2016. "World Development Indicators 2016," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 23969.
    26. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-1997, December.
    27. 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.
    28. Marcel P. Timmer & Erik Dietzenbacher & Bart Los & Robert Stehrer & Gaaitzen J. Vries, 2015. "An Illustrated User Guide to the World Input–Output Database: the Case of Global Automotive Production," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 575-605, August.
    29. Stemmler, Henry, 2019. "Does automation lead to de-industrialization in emerging economies? Evidence from Brazil," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 382, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    30. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
    31. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809.
    32. Reijnders, Laurie S.M. & de Vries, Gaaitzen J., 2018. "Technology, offshoring and the rise of non-routine jobs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 412-432.
    33. Prettner, Klaus, 2016. "The implications of automation for economic growth and the labor share," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 18-2016, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    34. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Patterns of Skill Premia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 199-230.
    35. Guido Cozzi & Giammario Impullitti, 2016. "Globalization and Wage Polarization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(5), pages 984-1000, December.
    36. Marcel P. Timmer & Abdul Azeez Erumban & Bart Los & Robert Stehrer & Gaaitzen J. de Vries, 2014. "Slicing Up Global Value Chains," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 99-118, Spring.
    37. Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The Shape of Production Functions and the Direction of Technical Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 517-549.
    38. Moshe Hazan, 2009. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Supply: Evidence and Implications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1829-1863, November.
    39. Chu, Angus C. & Cozzi, Guido & Furukawa, Yuichi, 2013. "A Simple Theory of Offshoring and Reshoring," MPRA Paper 44557, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2013.
    40. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
    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. 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.
    2. Gasteiger, Emanuel & Prettner, Klaus, 2022. "Automation, Stagnation, And The Implications Of A Robot Tax," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 218-249, January.
    3. Geiger, Niels & Prettner, Klaus & Schwarzer, Johannes A., 2018. "Automatisierung, Wachstum und Ungleichheit," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 13-2018, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    4. Prettner, Klaus & Strulik, Holger, 2017. "The lost race against the machine: Automation, education and inequality in an R&D-based growth model," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 08-2017, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    5. Arthur Jacobs & Freddy Heylen, 2021. "Demographic change, secular stagnation and inequality: automation as a blessing?," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 21/1030, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    6. Jelena Reljic & Rinaldo Evangelista & Mario Pianta, 2019. "Digital technologies, employment and skills," LEM Papers Series 2019/36, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    7. T. Gries & R. Grundmann & I. Palnau & M. Redlin, 2017. "Innovations, growth and participation in advanced economies - a review of major concepts and findings," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 293-351, April.
    8. Lankisch, Clemens & Prettner, Klaus & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2019. "How can robots affect wage inequality?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 161-169.
    9. Georg Graetz & Guy Michaels, 2018. "Robots at Work," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 753-768, December.
    10. Domini, Giacomo & Grazzi, Marco & Moschella, Daniele & Treibich, Tania, 2021. "Threats and opportunities in the digital era: Automation spikes and employment dynamics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(7).
    11. Stähler, Nikolai, 2021. "The Impact of Aging and Automation on the Macroeconomy and Inequality," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    12. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Prettner, Klaus, 2017. "Automation and demographic change," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168215, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Cirillo, Valeria & Evangelista, Rinaldo & Guarascio, Dario & Sostero, Matteo, 2021. "Digitalization, routineness and employment: An exploration on Italian task-based data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(7).
    14. Anderton, Robert & Jarvis, Valerie & Labhard, Vincent & Morgan, Julian & Petroulakis, Filippos & Vivian, Lara, 2020. "Virtually everywhere? Digitalisation and the euro area and EU economies," Occasional Paper Series 244, European Central Bank.
    15. M. Battisti & M. Del Gatto & A. F. Gravina & C. F. Parmeter, 2021. "Robots versus labor skills: a complementarity/substitutability analysis," Working Paper CRENoS 202104, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    16. Fernández-Macías, Enrique & Klenert, David & Antón, José-Ignacio, 2021. "Not so disruptive yet? Characteristics, distribution and determinants of robots in Europe," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 76-89.
    17. Ana L. ABELIANSKY & Eda ALGUR & David E. BLOOM & Klaus PRETTNER, 2020. "The future of work: Meeting the global challenges of demographic change and automation," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 159(3), pages 285-306, September.
    18. Antonio Martins-Neto & Nanditha Mathew & Pierre Mohnen & Tania Treibich, 2021. "Is There Job Polarization in Developing Economies? A Review and Outlook," CESifo Working Paper Series 9444, CESifo.
    19. 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).
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Automation; Reshoring; Employment; Wages; Inequality; Tariffs;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:zbw:cegedp:351. 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: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cdgoede.html .

    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: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cdgoede.html .

    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.