DP14593 Robot Imports and Firm-Level Outcomes
We use French data over the 1994-2013 period to study how imports of industrial robots affect firm-level outcomes. Guided by a simple model, we develop various empirical strategies to identify the causal effects of robot adoption. Our results suggest that, while demand shocks generate a positive correlation between robot imports and employment at the firm level, exogenous exposure to automation leads to job losses. We also find that robot exposure increases productivity and some evidence that it may raise the relative demand for high-skill professions.