Job Creators or Job Killers? Heterogeneous Effects of Industrial Robots on UK Employment


There is concern about robots taking our jobs. This analysis looks at the impact of industrial robot adoption in the UK. Using a novel instrument to deal with endogeneity of robot adoption, estimates suggest that higher robot use is associated with increased employment and some evidence of a positive effect on part‐time pay, contrary to evidence from other countries. However, there is a large amount of heterogeneity across industries. The results show that industrial robots have directly replaced workers in automobile manufacturing. On the other hand, they have had positive effects on other areas of the labour market such as services.