CefES Working Papers

Robort Imports and Firm-Level Outcomes

by Alessandra Bonfiglioli (University of Bergamo; Queen Mary University of London; CEPR), Rosario Crinò (University of Bergamo; CEPR and CESifo), Harald Fadinger (University of Mannheim; CEPR), and Gino Gancia (University of Milano-Bicocca; Queen Mary University of London; CEPR)


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 a novel empirical strategy 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 labor productivity and some evidence that it may raise the relative demand for high-skill professions.