nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2021‒06‒21
twenty papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. How does market competition affect firm innovation incentives in emerging countries? Evidence from Latin American firms. By Benavente, Jose Miguel; Zuniga, Pluvia
  2. Will the AI revolution be labour-friendly? Some micro evidence from the supply side By Damioli, Giacomo; Van Roy, Vincent; Vertesy, Daniel; Vivarelli, Marco
  3. (When) Does Patent Protection Spur Cumulative Research Within Firms? By Ashish Arora; Sharon Belenzon; Matt Marx; Dror Shvadron
  4. Powering structural transformation and productivity gains in Africa: The role of global value chains and resource endowments By Owusu, Solomon
  5. The influence of value-chain governance on innovation performance: A study of Italian suppliers By Brancati, Emanuele; Pietrobelli, Carlo; Torres Mazzi, Caio
  6. Mission-Oriented Policies and the "Entrepreneurial State" at Work: An Agent-Based Exploration By Giovanni Dosi; Francesco Lamperti; Mariana Mazzucato; Mauro Napoletano; Andrea Roventini
  7. Competing with Robots: Firm-Level Evidence from France By Acemoglu, Daron; Lelarge, Claire; Restrepo, Pascual
  8. From Micro to Macro: A Note on the Analysis of Aggregate Productivity Dynamics Using Firm-Level Data By Daniel A. Dias; Carlos Robalo Marques
  9. Automation and Sectoral Reallocation By Dennis C. Hutschenreiter; Tommaso Santini; Eugenia Vella
  10. Stop worrying and love the robot: An activity-based approach to assess the impact of robotization on employment dynamics By Mauro Caselli; Andrea Fracasso; Sergio Scicchitano; Silvio Traverso; Enrico Tundis
  11. Digital “is” Strategy: The Role of Digital Technology Adoption in Strategy Renewal By Nicolas van Zeebroeck; Tobias Kretschmer; Jacques Bughin
  12. Heterogeneous Innovation Persistence: Evidence From Uruguayan Firms By Maximiliano Machado
  13. The effectiveness of innovation policy and the moderating role of market competition: Evidence from Latin American firms By Benavente, Jose Miguel; Zuniga, Pluvia
  14. Capabilities, diversification & economic dynamics in European Regions By Jan Fagerberg; Martin Srholec
  15. An Empirical Assessment of the Impact of Subsidies on EV adoption in China: A Difference-in-Differences Approach By Xuemei Zheng; Flavio Menezes; Xiaofeng Zheng; Chengkuan Wu
  16. Automation, job polarisation, and structural change By Luca Eduardo Fierro; Alessandro Caiani; Alberto Russo
  17. Growth and Welfare Effects of Interventions in Patent Licensing Negotiations By Kishimoto, Shin; Suzuki, Keishun
  18. How different are necessity and opportunity firms? Evidence from a quantile analysis of the Colombian microenterprise sector By Rodriguez Torres, Omar
  19. Engines of Power: Electricity, AI, and General-Purpose Military Transformations By Jeffrey Ding; Allan Dafoe
  20. Tracking the rise of robots: A survey of the IFR database and its applications By Klump, Rainer; Jurkat, Anne; Schneider, Florian

  1. By: Benavente, Jose Miguel (Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)); Zuniga, Pluvia (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: The role of market competition on firm innovation remains a controversial policy question, especially in the context of developing countries. This paper presents new empirical evidence about the impact of market competition on firm innovation engagement in Colombian and Chilean manufacturing industries. We correct for the endogeneity of market competition using instruments proxying entry costs and policy interventions (i.e. competition decisions and entry law reforms), our results are like those of developed countries. Market competition increases firm propensity to invest in innovation in manufacturing enterprises and this relationship is linear in Chilean while in Colombian industries it takes the form of an inversed-U shape relation. The impact of competition is decreasing with the level of sector asymmetry -as preconised in the literature, while the impact of firm distance to the frontier affects firm innovation engagement differently in the two countries. In Chile, competition raises innovation incentives for the third and fourth productivity quartiles while no impact is found for firms in the first (bottom) two quartiles. In contrast, in Colombia market competition raises innovation engagement across regardless their firm productivity position but effects are stronger in the medium range (second and third quartiles). Our main results are robust to controlling for past innovation engagement, import competition and business dynamics.
    Keywords: Market Competition, Innovation, Technology Purchasing, Productivity, Latin American Firms
    JEL: O32 D41 O47 D24
    Date: 2021–05–19
  2. By: Damioli, Giacomo (European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)); Van Roy, Vincent (European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)); Vertesy, Daniel (UNU-MERIT, and the International Telecommunication Union); Vivarelli, Marco (UNU-MERIT, and Catholic University of Milan)
    Abstract: This study investigates the possible job-creation impact of AI technologies, focusing on the supply side, namely the providers of the new knowledge base. The empirical analysis is based on a worldwide longitudinal dataset of 3,500 front-runner companies that patented the relevant technologies over the period 2000-2016. Obtained from GMM-SYS estimates, our results show a positive and significant impact of AI patent families on employment, supporting the labour-friendly nature of product innovation in the AI supply industries. However, this effect is small in magnitude and limited to service sectors and younger firms, which are the leading actors of the AI revolution. Finally, some evidence of increasing returns seems to emerge; indeed, the innovative companies which are more focused on AI technologies are those obtaining the larger impacts in terms of job creation.
    Keywords: Innovation, technological change, patents, employment, job-creation
    JEL: O31 O33 O34 E24
    Date: 2021–04–20
  3. By: Ashish Arora; Sharon Belenzon; Matt Marx; Dror Shvadron
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of patent protection on follow-on investments in corporate scientific research. We exploit a new method for identifying an exogenous reduction in the protection a granted patent provides. Using data on public, research-active firms between 1990 and 2015, we find that firms decrease follow-on research after a reduction in patent protection, as measured by a drop in internal citations to an associated scientific article. This effect is stronger for smaller firms and in industries where patents are traded less frequently. Our findings are consistent with a stylized model whereby patent protection is a strategic substitute for commercialization capability. Our results imply that stronger patents encourage follow-on research, but also shift the locus of research from big firms toward smaller firms and startups. As patent protection has strengthened since the mid-1980s, our results help explain why the American innovation ecosystem has undergone a growing division of innovative labor, where startups become primary sources of new ideas.
    JEL: O30 O32 O34
    Date: 2021–06
  4. By: Owusu, Solomon (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Sixty years ago, many countries in Africa implemented various industrial policies to promote structural transformation and industrialization, all aimed at generating productivity gains. Today, the consensus seems to be that the region has since recorded moderate productivity gains and industrialization remains elusive. Participation in global value chains (GVC) has recently been highlighted as a pathway to fast-track development in terms of productivity gains and structural change in the region. This paper builds on these arguments and investigates how participation in GVC affects aggregate labour productivity growth and its two sub-components: within and structural change. It further examines how this relationship differs with the extent of country’s natural resource endowments. The results show that participation in GVCs has a significant positive effect on productivity growth in Africa. This gain is largely through backward participation and is stronger for countries that are further from the productivity frontier. The analysis using the sub-components of productivity growth also shows that GVC participation has a positive and significant effect on productivity growth by inducing an efficient reallocation of resources within sectors (intra-sector reallocation) but not across sectors (inter-sector reallocation). Moreover, these benefits arise mostly in non-resource intensive and non-oil resource intensive countries. Overall, the results indicate that GVC participation matters for productivity growth in Africa but highlights differences in the channel of impact across countries with different natural resource endowments.
    Keywords: Global value chains, structural change, productivity, resource endowment, Africa
    JEL: C67 F15 O11 O13 O14 O47 O55
    Date: 2021–05–17
  5. By: Brancati, Emanuele (Sapienza University of Rome, and IZA Institute of Labor Economics); Pietrobelli, Carlo (UNU-MERIT, and University of Roma Tre); Torres Mazzi, Caio (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper explores how value-chain governance affects the innovation performance of suppliers of intermediate products. We take advantage of a unique dataset of Italian firms to identify governance regimes along suppliers' technological capabilities and the level of explicit coordination in the value chain. Our results indicate that 'modular' value-chain governance is more conducive to innovation for suppliers, especially when these firms have medium capability levels. Conversely, market-based governance modes appear to strongly reduce the innovativeness of suppliers with low capability. These patterns are also reflected in export performances and sales of innovative products. Our results go partially against other findings in the GVC literature, whereby relational value chains are seen to provide the most favourable environment to learn and innovate. Interestingly, the highest levels of technological capabilities consistently reduce the correlation between supplying intermediates and innovation performance, which indicates that technology-gap is an important mediator of learning within value chains.
    Keywords: global value chains, export, suppliers, innovation, technological capabilities
    JEL: F14 O30 O32
    Date: 2021–04–22
  6. By: Giovanni Dosi (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa (Italy)); Francesco Lamperti (Institute of Economics and EMbeDS, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna; RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment); Mariana Mazzucato (Institute for Public Purpose and Policy, University College London (London, UK)); Mauro Napoletano (Author-Workplace-Name: Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, GREDEG, France; SKEMA Business School; OFCE Sciences-Po); Andrea Roventini (Institute of Economics and EMbeDS, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna; Sciences Po, OFCE)
    Abstract: We study the impact of alternative innovation policies on the short- and long-run performance of the economy, as well as on public finances, extending the Schumpeter meeting Keynes agentbased model (Dosi et al., 2010). In particular, we consider market-based innovation policies such as R&D subsidies to firms, tax discount on investment, and direct policies akin to the "Entrepreneurial State" (Mazzucato, 2013), involving the creation of public research-oriented firms diffusing technologies along specic trajectories, and funding a Public Research Lab conducting basic research to achieve radical innovations that enlarge the technological opportunities of the economy. Simulation results show that all policies improve productivity and GDP growth, but the best outcomes are achieved by active discretionary State policies, which are also able to crowd-in private investment and have positive hysteresis effects on growth dynamics. For the same size of public resources allocated to market-based interventions, "Mission" innovation policies deliver significantly better aggregate performance if the government is patient enough and willing to bear the intrinsic risks related to innovative activities.
    Keywords: Innovation policy, mission-oriented R&D, entrepreneurial state, agent-based modelling
    JEL: O33 O38 O31 O40 C63
    Date: 2021–06
  7. By: Acemoglu, Daron; Lelarge, Claire; Restrepo, Pascual
    Abstract: Using several sources, we construct a data set of robot purchases by French manufacturing firms and study the firm-level implications of robot adoption. Out of 55,390 firms in our sample, 598 have adopted robots between 2010 and 2015, but these firms account for 20% of manufacturing employment and value added. Consistent with theory, robot adopters experience significant declines in labor share and the share of production workers in employment, and increases in value added and productivity. They expand their overall employment as well. However, this expansion comes at the expense of their competitors (as automation reduces their relative costs). We show that the overall impact of robot adoption on industry employment is negative. We further document that the impact of robots on overall labor share is greater than their firm-level effects because robot adopters are larger and grow faster than their competitors.
    Keywords: automation; Competition; Labor Share; Manufacturing; productivity; reallocation; robots; Tasks
    JEL: J23 J24 L11
    Date: 2020–06
  8. By: Daniel A. Dias; Carlos Robalo Marques
    Abstract: In the empirical literature, the analysis of aggregate productivity dynamics using firm-level productivity has mostly been based on changes in the mean of log-productivity. This paper shows that there can be substantial quantitative and qualitative differences in the results relative to when the analysis is based on changes in the mean of productivity, and discusses the circumstances under which such differences are likely to happen. We use firm-level data for Portugal for the period 2006-2015 to illustrate the point. When the mean of productivity is used, we estimate that TFP and labor productivity for the whole economy increased by 17.7 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, over this period. But, when the mean of log-productivity is used, we estimate that these two productivity measures declined by 4.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. Similarly disparate results are obtained for productivity decompositions regarding the contributions for productivity growth of surviving, entering and exiting firms.
    Keywords: Jensen's inequality; Productivity decomposition; Geometric mean
    JEL: D24 E32 L25 O47
    Date: 2021–04–02
  9. By: Dennis C. Hutschenreiter; Tommaso Santini; Eugenia Vella
    Abstract: Empirical evidence in Dauth et al. (2021) suggests that industrial robot adoption in Germany has led to a sectoral reallocation of employment from manufacturing to services, leaving total employment unaffected. We rationalize this evidence through the lens of a general equilibrium model with two sectors, matching frictions, and endogenous participation. Automation induces firms to create fewer vacancies and job seekers to search less in the automatable sector (manufacturing). The service sector expands due to the sectoral complementarity in the production of the final good and a positive wealth effect for the household. Analysis across steady states shows that the reduction in manufacturing employment can be offset by the increase in service employment. The model can also replicate the magnitude of the decline in the ratio of manufacturing employment to service employment in Germany between 1994 and 2014.
    Keywords: automation, manufacturing, services, sectoral reallocation, participation, matching frictions, vacancy creation, productivity
    JEL: E24 O14 O33 J22
    Date: 2021–06–12
  10. By: Mauro Caselli; Andrea Fracasso; Sergio Scicchitano; Silvio Traverso; Enrico Tundis
    Abstract: This work investigates the impact that the change in the exposure to robots had on the Italian local employment dynamics over the period 2011-2018. A novel empirical strategy focusing on a match between occupations’ activities and robots’ applications at a high level of disaggregation makes it possible to assess the impact of robotization on the shares of workers employed as robot operators and in occupations deemed exposed to robots. In a framework consistently centered on workers’ and robots’ activities, rather than on their industries of employment, the analysis reveals for the first time reinstatement e↵ects among robot operators and heterogeneous results among exposed occupations.
    Keywords: Robots, Employment, Activities, Tasks, Robot applications
    JEL: J21 J23 J24 O33
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Nicolas van Zeebroeck; Tobias Kretschmer; Jacques Bughin
    Abstract: As digital technologies emerge and improve rapidly, firms face changing tradeoffs in terms of their technology infrastructure and strategic direction. Hence, many of them adopt new digital technology and develop new business models and strategies. The literature on strategic alignment of IT suggests that firms need to synchronize these different domains of choice. We therefore, ask how far firms renew their strategy as they adopt new technologies. In this article, we study this question empirically by assessing if the adoption of new digital technologies is associated with, or even leads to, changes to firm strategy using a detailed survey-based dataset on firms’ strategy renewal and their adoption of digital technologies. We observe a strong positive association between the extent of strategy change and the stage of adoption of advanced digital technologies overall, suggesting a tight coupling between (technological) structure and strategy. Further, using instrumental variable regressions to disentangle the two effects, we find that the adoption of new technologies may lead to a large and robust effect on strategy change: the more extensive the adoption, the larger the change in strategy. This result is robust to various specifications and across industries. However, we notice substantial differences across technologies, potentially pointing at heterogeneity in their strategic nature or maturity level.
    Date: 2021–06–11
  12. By: Maximiliano Machado (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This research addresses the persistence in innovation results for Uruguayan firms in the period 2004 –2015. Using panel data from the Survey of Innovation Activities, persistence in products and process innovations is estimated, investigating also heterogeneous effects in size and sectors. The estimations were defined according to the methodology proposed by Wooldridge (2005) to control for firms’ individual heterogeneity. The findings indicate that innovation results are not persistent in Uruguayan firms, showing null and negative effects of previous innovation on future innovation, indicating that the probability of innovating in t is non-affected or reduced for firms that innovated in t-1. Delving into these results, which is not usual in the literature in the field, the effects of the t-2 lag are estimated. Results indicate that innovating in t-2 increases the likelihood of persistence in innovation in t. This fact suggests that the Uruguayan firms innovate intermittently, contrary to what the literature states, arguably following an uneven innovation trajectory. Such results distance from empirical evidence for developed countries; although, they are in line with results for countries in the region and the case of Portugal. The effects may be related to the high costs of innovating continuously and the scarce relation with the environment, factors in which Uruguayan firms are lagging in relation to firms in developed countries.
    Keywords: Innovation, Persistence, Panel Data, Uruguay
    JEL: O31 O32 L25 C01
    Date: 2021–04
  13. By: Benavente, Jose Miguel (Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)); Zuniga, Pluvia (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to evaluate whether market competition matters for the effectiveness of innovation policies. Using data for Chilean and Peruvian manufacturing firms, we implement propensity matching techniques combined with differences-in-differences estimation to evaluate the impact of innovation subsidies on the post-treatment innovation investment effort of firms and test whether such impact differs according to the intensity of competition. We corroborate the existence of "crowding-in" effects in beneficiaries when compared to a control group of untreated firms. The subsidy impact is found either only significant in highly competitive sectors or larger in more competition-intensive industries -compared to low competition ones. Thus, we confirm that market competition plays a moderating role in the effectiveness of innovation policies to stimulate firm innovation investment. The results are robust to different matching and estimation methods. Our results therefore suggest that market contexts should be considered in the design of innovation policies.
    Keywords: Innovation Subsidies, Innovation Policy, Market Competition Latin American firms
    JEL: O38 O31 R38 H71
    Date: 2021–05–19
  14. By: Jan Fagerberg (TIK, University of Oslo); Martin Srholec (CERGE-EI, a joint workplace of Charles University and the Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: What determines the differences in economic performance across European regions? In addressing this question, this paper takes inspiration from two different approaches. One approach highlights the role of capability-building, of a technological or social nature, while another perspective emphasizes the potential advantages of proximity and, hence, a relatively diversified economic structure, for regional economic performance. The paper argues that the impacts of capability-building and diversification on regional economic development need to be assessed jointly. Using information for 261 regions at NUTS2 level in 27 European countries in the 2000s, novel data sources are exploited to construct measures of technological and social capabilities, which are combined with indicators of related and unrelated variety in the analysis of regional economic dynamics. The results suggest that capability-building play a key role in regional economic development while the results for diversification are more mixed.
    Date: 2021–06
  15. By: Xuemei Zheng (School of Economics, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China); Flavio Menezes (School of Economics, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia); Xiaofeng Zheng (Industrial Bank Company Ltd., Taiyuan, China); Chengkuan Wu (School of Economics, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China)
    Abstract: It is widely recognized that Electric vehicles (EVs) will play a crucial role in the electrification of transport, which is necessary for reaching a net-zero emissions economy. This recognition is reflected in the number of initiatives introduced worldwide to promote the EV industry, ranging from purchase subsidies to the provision of charging infrastructure and direct industry assistance. In this context, the Chinese government introduced a comprehensive program of government subsidies to support the sale of EVs. This paper estimates the impacts of these subsidies on EV sales in China using the difference-in-differences (DID) and propensity score matching (PSM) approach. Based on the panel data at city level from 2009 to 2018, we show that subsidies were the major contributor to the increase in EV sales. Our results suggest that the provision of infrastructure such as charging piles is also an important contributing factor. These findings are robust across model specifications and regression approaches. The heterogeneity analysis indicates that the treatment effect is heterogeneous across EV types, city sizes and regions. Our results provide empirical support for the current policy settings designed to promote EV sales in China.
    Keywords: Electric vehicles, subsidy policies, difference-in-differences approach, China.
    JEL: Q48 C13 C54
    Date: 2021–06–07
  16. By: Luca Eduardo Fierro (Department of Management, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy); Alessandro Caiani (University School for Advanced Studies, Pavia, Italy); Alberto Russo (Department of Management, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy and Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
    Abstract: The increasing automation of tasks traditionally performed by labor is reshaping the relationship between skills and tasks of workers, unevenly affecting labor demand for low, middle, and high-skill occupations. To investigate the economywide response to automation, we designed a multisector Agent-Based Macroeconomic model accounting for workers’ heterogeneity in skills and tasks. The model features endogenous skill- biased technical change, and heterogeneous consumption preferences for goods and personal services across workers of different skill types. Following available empirical evidence, we model automation as a manufacture-specific, productivity-enhancing, and skill-biased technological process. We show how automation can trigger a structural change process from manufactory to personal services, which eventually polarises the labor market. Finally, we study how labor market policies can feedback in the model dynamics. In our framework, a minimum wage policy (i) slows down the structural change process, (ii) boosts aggregate productivity, and (iii) accelerates the automation process, strengthening productivity growth within the manufactory sector.
    Keywords: agent-based model, automation, structural change, wage polarization, minimum wage
    JEL: C63 E64 L16
    Date: 2021
  17. By: Kishimoto, Shin; Suzuki, Keishun
    Abstract: Policy makers sometimes intervene in patent licensing negotiations to guide licensing fees, but the impacts of such interventions on economic growth and welfare are relatively unknown. This paper develops a novel Schumpeterian growth model featuring a cooperative game-theoretic framework that describes negotiations about licensing fees. We find that the growth effect of intervention is negative if firms can raise unlimited external funds for their R&D investment. However, when the amount of external funds available is limited, both the growth and the welfare effects of intervention can be positive. This result means that interventions are desirable when the internal funds of firms are the main source of their R&D investment.
    Keywords: Patent licensing negotiations, Schumpeterian growth, Cooperative game, Patent protection, Financial constraints.
    JEL: C71 D45 O30
    Date: 2021–05–28
  18. By: Rodriguez Torres, Omar (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between start-up motivation and business performance, by looking into the extent to which start-up motivation (necessity vs. opportunity) influences several business performance indicators. Using the Colombian Small and Microenterprise sector public dataset, we analyse the factors associated with microenterprise performance using a quantile regression approach to model the distribution of different measures of business performance. Among the findings, we present evidence of statistically significant differences among quantiles confirming the heterogeneity of start-up motivation and other firm characteristics of the firms operating in the sector. The results show that start-up motivation is a factor that explains the difference in the distribution of the business performance indicators under study. This findings contributes to the debate around the connection between entrepreneurship and growth in the context of developing economies. Even though firms motivated by necessity show a lower level of profit, in particular for the firms that perform relatively poorly, this is not necessarily associated with null or diminishing growth rates. Necessity is not necessarily a deterrent for growth. It needs to be understood as a means to support families that otherwise would have no income-generating opportunities.
    Keywords: Firm performance, entrepreneurship, public policy, new firms, enterprise policy
    JEL: L25 L26 J48 M13 L53 O25
    Date: 2021–04–28
  19. By: Jeffrey Ding; Allan Dafoe
    Abstract: Major theories of military innovation focus on relatively narrow technological developments, such as nuclear weapons or aircraft carriers. Arguably the most profound military implications of technological change, however, come from more fundamental advances arising from general purpose technologies, such as the steam engine, electricity, and the computer. With few exceptions, political scientists have not theorized about GPTs. Drawing from the economics literature on GPTs, we distill several propositions on how and when GPTs affect military affairs. We call these effects general-purpose military transformations. In particular, we argue that the impacts of GMTs on military effectiveness are broad, delayed, and shaped by indirect productivity spillovers. Additionally, GMTs differentially advantage those militaries that can draw from a robust industrial base in the GPT. To illustrate the explanatory value of our theory, we conduct a case study of the military consequences of electricity, the prototypical GPT. Finally, we apply our findings to artificial intelligence, which will plausibly cause a profound general-purpose military transformation.
    Date: 2021–06
  20. By: Klump, Rainer; Jurkat, Anne; Schneider, Florian
    Abstract: Robots are continuously transforming industrial production worldwide and thereby also inducing changes in a variety of production-related economic and social relations. While some observers call this transformation an unprecedented "revolution", others regard it as a common pattern of capitalist development. This paper contributes to the literature on the effects of the rise of industrial robots in three ways. Firstly, we describe the historic evolution and organizational structure of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), which collects data on the international distribution of industrial robots by country, industry, and application from industrial robot suppliers worldwide since 1993. Secondly, we extensively analyze this IFR dataset on industrial robots and point out its specificities and limitations. We develop a correspondence table between IFR industry classification and the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) Revision 4 and shed some light on the price development of industrial robots by compiling data on robot price indices. We further compute implicit depreciation rates inherent to the operational stocks of robots in the IFR dataset and find an average depreciation rate of aggregate robot stocks between 4% and 7% per year between 1993 and 2019. Moreover, tracking the share of industrial robots that are not classified to any industry or application we find that their share in total robot stocks has sharply declined after 2005. The average value of 45% of unspecified industrial robots at country level is therefore likely to shrink in the future. We also compare IFR data with other data sources such as UN Comtrade data on net imports and unit prices of industrial robots or data on robot adoption from firm-level surveys in selected countries. Thirdly, we provide a comprehensive overview of the empirical research on industrial robots that is based on the IFR dataset. We identify four important strands of research on the rise of robots: (i) patterns of robot adoption and industrial organization, (ii) productivity and growth effect of robot adoption, (iii) its impact on employment and wages, and (iv) its influence on demographics, health, and politics.
    Keywords: Robots, productivity, growth, employment, industry classification, depreciation rates, IFR
    JEL: C23 E1 J2 J24 O3 O33 O4 O47
    Date: 2021

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