Preliminary and Incomplete - Please do not quote without permission
Robots have radically changed the demand for skills and the role of workers in production at an unprecedented pace, with little scope for human capital adjustments. This has affected the job stability and the economic perspectives of large parts of the population in all industrialized countries. Recent evidence has shown negative effects of robots on employment and wages. In this study, we examine how exposure to robots and its consequences on job stability and economic uncertainty have affected individual demographic behavior. Using data from the American Community Survey (ACS), we follow the empirical strategy adopted by Acemoglu and Restrepo (2018) and find that individuals living in US regions affected by intense robot penetration were less likely to marry and also more likely to divorce. Furthermore, exposure to robots reduced the overall fertility rate, but increased the number of children born out of wedlock. We also explore the differential effect on the labor market opportunities of men and women and find that in commuting zones that were more exposed to robots the gender-wage gap declined. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the changes in labor markets triggered by robot adoption have decreased the marriage-market value of men.
Authors: Massimo Anelli, Bocconi University, CESifo and IZA; Osea Giuntella, University of Pittsburgh and IZA; Luca Stella, Bocconi University and IZA
Keywords: Automation, marriage market, fertility
About the speaker
Luca Stella is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Bocconi University. Before that, he worked as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Wuppertal. He has received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Economics and Social Sciences from Bocconi University, and obtained the Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Padua. During his Ph.D. he spent two years as a visiting student at Boston University. He is also Research Affiliate at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics.
His research interests include Labor Economics, Health Economics, Demography and Family Economics. On these topics he has published in the European Economic Review, Health Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Population Studies, and others.