publication | |

Gender Differences in
Automation Risk in
Developing Country
Labor Markets

June 15, 2021

  Ana Kujundzic, Janneke Pieters

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This paper studies to what extent jobs done by women are more at risk of automation than jobs done by men, using recently collected data for urban labor markets in 13 low-and-middle-income countries.

The authors’ use individual-level harmonized survey data representative of urban labor markets in 13 lowand middle-income countries to document that the lowest-paid occupations are most routine intensive, and that women’s jobs are more routine task intensive than men’s.

Women report higher routine task intensity than men within the same 1-digit occupational groups. Gender differences in occupational choice across 2-digit occupations, as well as differences in human capital and ethnicity, also account for just a small part of the gender gap in routine task intensity.

These findings contribute to an understanding of gender inequalities in developing country labor markets, in particular related to potential impacts of automation technologies. While there may be little incentive for employers to invest in the automation of routine tasks, given the low cost of labor, the impacts would be concentrated among women and low-wage workers.



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