Fredrik Heyman () and Martin Olsson ()
Fredrik Heyman: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Martin Olsson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract: This paper examines whether advancements in automation and robotics have affected intergenerational income mobility. Using detailed data on all individuals and firms in Sweden from 1985 to 2017, we analyze how parental exposure to robots at the occupational level and the heterogeneous adoption of robots across industries influence children’s outcomes in adulthood. Our results show that parents’ occupational exposure to robots is associated with lower income mobility for their children. Taking into account exposure at the occupational and industry levels, we find that the negative impact on intergenerational mobility originates from industries with a relatively large increase in robot adoption. Our results also indicate that children with exposed parents are worse off with regard to several labor market and family-related outcomes, including higher risks of unemployment and being out of the labor force. Overall, our paper reveals a new determinant that shapes intergenerational mobility and highlights that advancements in automation and robotics can have long-lasting effects on society.
59 pages, First version: December 19, 2022. Revised: June 29, 2023.
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