Prof. Yuanyuan Chen’s paper “Industrial Robots and Spatial Allocation of Labor”, coauthored with Ph.D. Candidate Jing Zhang and Prof. Yahong Zhou from School of Economics of SUFE, was officially published in Economic Research Journal. The paper studies the impact of industrial robot application on labor spatial allocation in China.
Abstract:Based on the 2005-2015 census data and the 2006-2015 IFR data on industrial robots operating volume in various industries, this paper examines the impact of industrial robots on labor spatial allocation. It is found that the application of industrial robots significantly reduces the labor inflow. Moreover, the negative impact of industrial robots on labor inflow is pronounced among low-skilled workers but insignificant among high-skilled workers. We also explore the underlying mechanisms and find that the effect of robot application on labor mobility depends on scale effects and individual migration costs. In the context of the accelerated reform of the hukou system, the dual effects of the widespread use of industrial robots and the reform of hukou system have significantly increased the inflow of high-skilled workers, but have no effect on inflow of low-skilled workers. In addition, we further examine the impact of robot application on local labor market and find that robot application does not have significant impact on the total local employment rate.
Yuanyuan Chen is a professor and Ph.D. supervisor at Institute for Advanced Research, the Director of Center for Migration and Labor Market Research, and Youth Scholar of the “National-level Talent Program” of Ministry of Education. Prof. Chen has devoted to the research on labor migration and the education of children of migrant population during China’s urbanization. Her papers were published in Economic Research Journal, Journal of Management World, China Economic Quarterly, PNAS, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Population Economics, China Economic Review, etc. She also has published the book City’s Future: the Shanghai Mode of Migrant Children’s Education and a dozen of articles in Guangming Daily, Caijing, and other media. Prof. Chen also hosts an NSFC project and several provincial level research projects. She has won the Shanghai Outstanding Achievement Award in Philosophy and Social Sciences.