Nº 312 (April, 2023). Irene Brambilla, Andrés César, Guillermo Falcone & Leonardo Gasparini

“The Impact of Robots in Latin America: Evidence from Local Labor Markets”.

We study the effect of robots on labor markets in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, the major robot users in Latin America, during the period 2004{2016. We exploit spatial and time variations in exposure to robots arising from initial differences in industry specialization across geographic locations and the evolution of robot adoption across industries, to estimate a causal effect of robots on local labor market outcomes. We find that district’s exposure to robots causes a relative deterioration in labor market indicators such us unemployment and labor informality. We document that robots mainly replace formal salaried jobs, affecting young and semi-skilled workers to a greater extent, and that informal employment acts as a buffer that prevents a larger increase in unemployment.

JEL codes: J23, J24, J31, J46, O14, O17, R10

Suggested citation:Brambilla, I., A. César, G. Falcone & L. Gasparini (2023). The Impact of Robots in Latin America: Evidence from Local Labor Markets. CEDLAS Working Papers Nº 312, April, 2023, CEDLAS-FCE-Universidad Nacional de La Plata.