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BOK Working Paper No.2021-19, The Impact of Robots on Labor Demand: Evidence from Job Vacancy Data for South Korea

연구조정실 (02-759-5364) 2021.12.15 11999

Title : The Impact of Robots on Labor Demand: Evidence from Job Vacancy Data for South Korea
Author : Hyejin Kim(BOK)

<Abstract>

The debate about the impact of robots on employment has been lively. In this paper, we examine the effect of robots on local labor demand in South Korea, one of the most technologically advanced countries in robotics. Using the regional variation in robot exposure constructed from national industry-level robot adoption and the initial distribution of industrial employment in cities, we find that robots did not reduce local labor demand. However, we estimate declines in labor demand in the manufacturing sector and routine jobs. An increase of one robot per thousand workers in exposure to robots is correlated with a decline in the job vacancy growth of 2.9 percentage points and 2.8 percentage points in the manufacturing sector and routine jobs, respectively. No significant relationship is found between robot exposure and labor demand in the service sector and non-routine jobs.

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