Seminar in International Economics: Robot Imports and Firm-Level Outcomes (Webinar) | 25.02.2021

The Competence Centre for International Economics Research (FIW) kindly invites to participate in the Seminar in International Economics on the topic

Robot Imports and Firm-Level Outcomes

Rosario Crinò
(Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

Thursday, 25th of February 2021, 3:00 p.m. (CET)

Registration link:
The participation link will be sent to you immediately after registration.

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The presentation is based on a paper co-authored with Alessandra Bonfiglioli, Harald Fadinger and Gino Gancia.

We use French data over the 1994-2013 period to study how imports of industrial robots affect firm-level outcomes. Compared to other firms operating in the same 5-digit sector, robot importers are larger, more productive, and employ a higher share of managers and engineers. Over time, robot import occurs after periods of expansion in firm size, and is followed by improvements in efficiency and a fall in demand for labor. Guided by a simple model, we develop various empirical strategies to identify the causal effects of robot adoption. Our results suggest that, while demand shocks generate a positive correlation between robot imports and employment, exogenous changes in automation lead to job losses. We also find that robot imports increase productivity and the employment share of high-skill professions, but have a weak effect on total sales. The latter result suggests that productivity gains from automation may not be entirely passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices.

The seminar series is organised by the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) in co-operation with FIW, the Centre of Competence in International Economics. The seminar provides a forum for presentation and discussion of recent academic research in the field of international economics.