Are Robots stealing jobs? Empirical evidence from 10 developing countries
This research study aims, therefore, to examine the impacts of the adoption of new technology on jobs and employment in developing countries. Using ordered-probit regression model estimations from a survey of multinational firms in 22 industrial sectors from 10 selected developing countries, our results show that the probability of employment is found to decrease if a firm considers it important to adopt new technology. A relationship between the introduction of robots and the disappearance of jobs was found among firms in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Turkey.
Sector-wise, information technology (IT) seems to be the only sector in which a positive relationship was found between higher employment within firms and new technology adoption. Other sectors exhibited an opposite relationship (higher technology adoption causes a decrease in employment). This indicates that talented and highly skilled labourers seem less likely to be replaced by robots and automation. Therefore, governments in developing countries should act to enhance the quality of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education to support workers in learning and using new technology and to provide upskill/reskill training programmes for workers so that they can work in tandem with new technology.