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EBRD researches if robotization could worsen the gender pay gap

EBRD researches if robotization could worsen the gender pay gap

 July 20, 2020

The EBRD has published a Working Paper providing insight into large-scale evidence on the impact of industrial robots on the gender pay gap using data from 20 European countries including the UK, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal.

The study was co-authored by Dr Cevat Giray Aksoy Principal Economist at the EBRD and Lecturer at King’s College London with Dr Berkay Ozcan and Julia Philipp, both from the London School of Economics.

According to the researchers at King’s College London and the London School of Economics, robot adoption increases both male and female earnings but also increases the gender pay gap. 

Connecting robotization and the gender pay gap

The EBRD's paper, titled 'Robots and the Gender Pay Gap in Europe', found that a ten percent increase in robotization leads to a 1.8 percent increase in the gender pay gap. These results are mainly driven by countries with high levels of gender inequality and outsourcing destination countries.

According to the paper, men at medium- and high-skill occupations disproportionately benefit from robotization, particularly in countries where there is already noticeable gender inequality.

However, in countries where gender inequality is low, robotization does not have a significant effect on the gender pay gap, but increases the earnings of all workers.

"At a time when policymakers are putting increased efforts into tackling gender gaps in the labour market, our evidence is important. Our results suggest that governments not only need to ensure that education and vocational training systems provide people with the right skills demanded in the future, but also need to pay attention to distributional issues and increase efforts to make sure that women and men are equally equipped with the skills most relevant for future employability," concludes the study.

Read the full study.

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