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When robots do (not) enhance job quality: The role of innovation regimes

Damiani, Mirella and Pompei, Fabrizio and Kleinknecht, Alfred (2020): When robots do (not) enhance job quality: The role of innovation regimes.

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Abstract

Under a ‘high cumulativeness’ innovation regime, robot adoption results in better job quality as workers have some negotiation power. The opposite holds for robot adoption in low-cumulativeness regimes. In the latter, robot adoption leads to more dead-end ‘Taylorist’ jobs. Our results emerge from multi-level estimates of two countries (Italy and Germany). We conclude that previous studies tended to find weak effects of robot adoption as they did not control for innovation regimes. High rates of temporary jobs have a negative impact on the productive use of robots in innovation regimes with a high cumulativeness of knowledge, and less so in low-cumulativeness regimes.

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