"Robots and the productivity of local manufacturing systems in Emilia-Romagna: the mediating role of occupational similarity and complexity"

In their recent publication in "European Planning Studies", Roberto Antonietti, (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padua), Luca Cattani (Gran Sasso Science Institute) and Giulio Pedrini (Kore University of Enna) analyze the link between robot exposure, labour productivity, and employment in Emilia-Romagna's local labour market areas, looking at the possible mediation of occupational similarity and complexity.


They find that the negative relation between robotization and employment becomes milder in sectors characterized by similar baskets of jobs and by more complex (i.e., more diversified and unique) tasks.


This opens a sort of trade-off: in more (job) diversified areas, robots help rising productivity by reducing labour costs, whereas in highly specialized ones (such as industrial districts) the displacement of jobs is lower, such as the productivity gains.


Read more