New article co-authored by Xiaolan Fu investigates impact of industrial robot adoption

08 July, 2020

A new paper co-authored by Professor Xiaolan Fu investigates the impact of industrial robot adoption on inclusive growth, based on labour market evidence from a cross-country panel dataset of 74 economies between 2004 and 2016.

It finds that the adoption of industrial robots is associated with significant gains in labour productivity and total employment in developed economies, while such effects are insignificant in developing countries.

Increased robot adoption is related to a significantly lower labour share of GDP in developing economies but not in developed countries.

Overall, in both developed and developing economies, increased robot adoption is linked with significantly higher income inequality, although there is no evidence of technological unemployment.

Furthermore, the employment of both male and female workers is positively associated with the adoption of industrial robots in developed economies, although females benefit slightly more. In developing countries, however, only those with middle or advanced levels of education benefit from the diffusion of robots.

Xiaoqing (Maggie) Fu, Qun Bao, Hongjun Xie and Xiaolan Fu (2020) 'Diffusion of Industrial Robots and Inclusive Growth: Labour Market Evidence from Cross-Country Data'Journal of Business Research DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.05.051