IHS Seminar: Harald Fadinger will present his paper 'Robot Imports and Firm-Level Outcomes'

with Alessandra Bonfiglioli, Rosario Crinò, Gino Gancia

We use French data over the 1994-2013 period to study how imports of industrial robots affect firm-level outcomes. Compared to other firms operating in the same 5-digit sector, robot importers are larger, more productive, and employ a higher share of managers and engineers. Over time, robot import occurs after periods of expansion in firm size, and is followed by improvements in efficiency and a fall in demand for labor. Guided by a simple model, we develop various empirical strategies to identify the causal effects of robot adoption. Our results imply that, while demand shocks generate a positive correlation between robot imports and employment, exogenous changes in automation lead to job losses. We also find that robot importers cause increases in productivity and profits but have a weak effect on total sales. This implies that cost reductions are not passed on to consumers.

The IHS seminar will take place online as an MS-Teams event. Please mail to event(at)ihs.ac.at to register and receive the participation link.

Harald Fadinger is Professor of Economics at the University of Mannheim and a Fellow at IHS. He is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), London and a Senior Member of the Mannheim Centre for Competition and Innovation (MaCCI). His main research interests are international trade, economic growth, macroeconomics and organizational economics. Currently, he studies issues of international competitiveness, productivity, trade policy, labor markets and firm organization.

Harald holds degrees in Economics and in Law from the University of Vienna. He did his graduate studies at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, where he obtained an M.Sc. (2003) and a Ph.D. (2008) in Economics. Prior to joining the University of Mannheim, he was a Marie Curie Fellow at Université Libre, Brussels (ECARES) and Assistant Professor at the University of Vienna.