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

December 13, 2021

  Leonardo Gasparini, Irene Brambilla, Andrés César, Guillermo Falcone

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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.

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