Working paper # 5/2022

Robots and Polarisation of Labour Markets. Are CEE Countries different?


J. Siwińska-Gorzelak, S. Rożynek ROBOTS AND POLARISATION OF LABOUR MARKETS. ARE CEE COUNTRIES DIFFERENT?, DELab Working Paper 5/2022, Warszawa 2022.


The impact of tech­no­lo­gi­cal pro­gress on labo­ur mar­kets has rece­ived a gre­at amo­unt of scru­ti­ny. Labo­ur mar­ket pola­ri­sa­tion is cla­imed to be one of the more pro­mi­nent con­se­qu­en­ces of the recent wave of tech­no­lo­gi­cal advan­ce­ment – the digi­tal revo­lu­tion. Howe­ver, this cla­im is not uncon­tro­ver­sial. Questions ari­se on the sca­le of pola­ri­sa­tion and the uni­ver­sa­li­ty of this effect across coun­tries. This paper aims to pro­vi­de insi­ght into this phe­no­me­non in the rela­ti­ve­ly under-rese­ar­ched EU-CEE coun­tries. Our stu­dy, which focu­ses on the manu­fac­tu­ring sec­tor in EU-CEE coun­tries, shows that incre­asing robot den­si­ty is rela­ted to shrin­king employ­ment in routi­ne, mid­dle-skil­led occu­pa­tions. Whi­le we report a posi­ti­ve effect of robot den­si­ty on employ­ment in lower routi­ne, high-skill occu­pa­tions, the impact on low-skill occu­pa­tions is insi­gni­fi­cant. Hen­ce, we fail to pro­vi­de strong evi­den­ce in favo­ur of the direct impact of robot den­si­ty on labo­ur mar­ket polarisation.

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