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Do Robots Complement or Substitute for Older Workers?


The impact of robotization on labor market outcomes has been recently empirically investigated along several directions, including employment, wages and labor productivity. This work contributes to this literature by looking for heterogeneous effects of robots on the workforce, analyzed by age cohorts. Relying on a panel of data from IFR (2019) and EU KLEMS (2009) over the years 1994-2005, we find consistent evidence of higher complementarity between robots and older workers (hours worked by employees aged 50 and over), and a greater substitutability among robots and younger cohorts of the labor market. These findings are robust to age group disaggregation and specific capital price deflators.