China's industrial robots 'push people out of jobs' • The Record

China’s industrial robots ‘push people out of jobs’ • The Record

According to economic researchers, exposure to industrial robots in the workplace leads to lower labor force participation, lower employment, and lower wages.

Automation in the workplace appears to increase family debt and reduce – by only a small amount – the number of children born to affected families, adding to the time and money that families invest in existing children.

in paper Entitled “How Do Workers and Families Adapt to Robots? Evidence from China,” distributed by the National Bureau of Economics Research, co-authors Ossia Juntella (University of Pittsburgh), Yi Lu (Tsinghua University), and Tian Yi Wang (University of Toronto) analyzed the effects of industrial robots on workers and their families.

They focused on data from China because in 2014, Chinese President Xi Jingping called for a robot revolution to boost manufacturing, and China’s 2016-2020 five-year plan included billions of yuan to accelerate factory automation. They also sought to examine the impact of robotics on “emerging economies” – which has not been studied as much as in “developed economies”.

China has the largest number of industrial robots in the world (~943,200 units) but lags behind more developed economies on a per capita basis, the authors note. According to the International Federation of Robotics, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Germany and Sweden have Most robots per 10,000 employeesFollowed by Hong Kong, the United States, Taiwan and China.

The researchers note that investing in robotics may help China increase productivity amid rising labor costs, increasing international competition, and an aging population. However, automation is affecting the economic prospects of hundreds of millions of Chinese workers in manufacturing and other sectors.

Quote Paper 2016They argue that up to 77 percent of Chinese jobs are vulnerable to automation. For example, they point to industrial maker Foxconn, noting that between 2012 and 2016, the iPhone maker replaced more than 400,000 jobs in China with robots as part of an effort. To achieve 30 percent factory automation By 2020. I hope metal machines don’t Also riots.

by analysis Chinese family panel studies Between 2010 and 2016, the authors assert that they found “significant negative effects of bot exposure on employment and wages.”

We show that an increase of 1 standard deviation Exposure to a bot reduces an individual’s probability of being employed by 6 percentage points (-7.5% with respect to median), increases the likelihood of leaving the workforce by 1 percentage point (+10.5% with respect to median), and increases the likelihood of reporting an unemployment situation by 5 points. percentage (or 0.17 standard deviation),” the authors state in their paper.

They also found that exposure to the bot reduces hourly earnings (-9 percent) but does so without affecting annual income because those affected—mainly low-skilled, men, working-age adults, and the elderly—tend to work longer hours (+14 percent). to compensate for lower wages.

Or they go into debt. The authors noted, “While exposure to robots has negative effects on wages and employment, we document an increase in borrowing (+10 percent) that allows families to keep their consumption and savings stable.”

With the proliferation of robots, this is driving older workers into early retirement, while younger workers are more likely to take part in technical or job-related training to maintain their value in the labor market.

Looking at the impact of robot exposure on families, the researchers emphasized that they saw no evidence of any effect on marital behavior. However, they found that “robot exposure leads to a slight decrease in the number of children (-1.2 percent).”

Furthermore, exposure to a robot increased family time invested in children’s education (+10 percent) and investment in children’s after-school and extracurricular activities (+24 percent).

The authors note that if automation does not create jobs, it may lead to inequality. In particular, they suggest, developing countries should recognize that productivity gains based on automation may come at the expense of economic injustice and social upheaval. ®

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