publication | |

The impact of robots in Latin America: Evidence from local labor markets

December 13, 2021

  Irene Brambilla, Andrés César, Guillermo Falcone, Leonardo Gasparini


Read a summary

*The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of IDRC or its Board of Governors. This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada.


This publication studies the effects of robot penetration on labor markets for the three largest economies in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, during the period 2004-2016.

It explores the significant variability in robot exposure across districts and across time to estimate its impacts on several relevant outcomes. We find that districts more exposed to robotics adoption had a worse performance relative to less exposed ones in terms of unemployment, informality, earnings, inequality, and poverty. Our results also support the idea that the unemployment costs generated by the new technologies are relatively concentrated in the middle of the skill distribution. Finally, we also show that these costs were more intense for men relative to women.



Automation and employment in Latin America

read more Publications →

The future of work in the MENA region: Moving into the digital fast lane… with the brakes on

read more Publications →

Regional views on the future of work: Sub-Saharan Africa

read more Publications →

Technology, equality and the future of work in South and South East Asia

read more Publications →

Work is changing rapidly. Learning to navigate the changes will benefit us all.

IDRC has launched FOWIGS—a research program that will help understand how these changes are affecting the lives of the most vulnerable and suggest pathways for an inclusive digital future. The challenges are large and the questions are complex. But we need to face them now more than ever. Stay connected. Learn how.


Contact Us