In a model with robots, and automatable and non-automatable human tasks, we examine robot-labour substitutions and show how they are influenced by a country's 'innovation system'. Substitution depends on demand and production elasticities, and other factors influenced by the innovation system. Making use of World Economic Forum data we estimate the relationship for thirteen countries and find that countries with poor innovation capabilities substitute robots for workers much more than countries with richer innovation capabilities, which generally complement them. In transport equipment and non-manufacturing robots and workers are stronger substitutes than in other manufacturing.
Chrystalla Kapetaniou and Christopher A. Pissarides
15 March 2023 Paper Number CEPDP1906
Download PDF - Productive robots and industrial employment: The role of national innovation systems
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This CEP discussion paper is published under the Programme on Innovation and Diffusion, and CEP Growth programme.