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Robots For Economic Development

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  • Calì, Massimiliano
  • Presidente, Giorgio

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that automation technologies entail a trade-off between produc- tivity gains and employment losses for the economies that adopt them. This paper casts doubts on such trade-off in the context of a developing country. It shows significant productivity and employment gains from automation in Indonesian manufacturing during the years 2008-2015, a period of rapid increase in robot imports. Analysis based on manufacturing plant data provides evidence that the absence of this trade-off is due to diminishing productivity returns to robot adoption. As a result, the benefits from automation could be particularly large for countries at early stages of industrialisation, such as Indonesia. Suggestive evidence indicates these results could apply to developing countries more generally.
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Suggested Citation

  • Calì, Massimiliano & Presidente, Giorgio, 2021. "Robots For Economic Development," GLO Discussion Paper Series 942, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:942
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    1. Chen, Chinchih & Frey, Carl Benedikt & Presidente, Giorgio, 2022. "Automation or globalization? The impacts of robots and Chinese imports on jobs in the United Kingdom," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 204(C), pages 528-542.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Robots; Automation; Development; Employment; Productivity; Spillovers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • 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
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development

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