Robot Adoption at German Plants
IWH Discussion Papers,
Using a newly collected dataset of robot use at the plant level from 2014 to 2018, we provide the first microscopic portrait of robotisation in Germany and study the potential determinants of robot adoption. Our descriptive analysis uncovers five stylised facts concerning both extensive and, perhaps more importantly, intensive margin of plant-level robot use: (1) Robot use is relatively rare with only 1.55% German plants using robots in 2018. (2) The distribution of robots is highly skewed. (3) New robot adopters contribute substantially to the recent robotisation. (4) Robot users are exceptional along several dimensions of plant-level characteristics. (5) Heterogeneity in robot types matters. Our regression results further suggest plant size, low-skilled labour share, and exporter status to have strong and positive effect on future probability of robot adoption. Manufacturing plants impacted by the introduction of minimum wage in 2015 are also more likely to adopt robots. However, controlling for plant size, we find that plant-level productivity has no, if not negative, impact on robot adoption.
Development of Survey Questions on Robotics Expenditures and Use in U.S. Manufacturing Establishments
Center for Economic Studies (CES) Working Paper Series,
The U.S. Census Bureau in partnership with a team of external researchers developed a series of questions on the use of robotics in U.S. manufacturing establishments. The questions include: (1) capital expenditures for new and used industrial robotic equipment in 2018, (2) number of industrial robots in operation in 2018, and (3) number of industrial robots purchased in 2018. These questions are to be included in the 2018 Annual Survey of Manufactures. This paper documents the background and cognitive testing process used for the development of these questions.