Robots, Occupations, and Worker Age: A Production-unit Analysis of Employment
IWH Discussion Papers,
We analyse the impact of robot adoption on employment composition using novel micro data on robot use in German manufacturing plants linked with social security records and data on job tasks. Our task-based model predicts more favourable employment effects for the least routine-task intensive occupations and for young workers, with the latter being better at adapting to change. An event-study analysis of robot adoption confirms both predictions. We do not find adverse employment effects for any occupational or age group, but churning among low-skilled workers rises sharply. We conclude that the displacement effect of robots is occupation biased but age neutral, whereas the reinstatement effect is age biased and benefits young workers most.
Elderly Left Behind? How Older Workers Can Participate in the Modern Labor Market
In her 2021 State of the Union address, European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen announced that “[the EU] will invest in 5G and fiber. But equally important is the investment in digital skills.” Indeed, the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, which runs until 2026, has earmarked substantial funds to tackle the digital divide, in acknowledgment of the fact that the EU is not only missing ICT specialists but also that many Europeans do not have sufficient digital skills to thrive in today’s society and labor market. Many observers argue that older workers in particular lack digital skills, suffering more often from computer anxiety and showing lower computer self-efficacy (Czaja et al. 2006). This lack of skills hampers their employability and productivity in a technologically fast-changing world.