Heterogeneous Relationships between Automation Technologies and Skilled Labor: Evidence from a Firm Survey

Author Name MORIKAWA Masayuki (Vice President, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. January 2020 20-E-004
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Based on an original survey of Japanese firms, this study presents evidence of the use of recent automation technologies—artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, and robotics—and discusses the relationship between these technologies and skilled employees at the firm-level. The result indicates that while the number of firms already using these technologies is small, the number of firms interested in using them is large. The use of AI and big data is positively associated with the share of highly educated employees, particularly those with a postgraduate degree; however, such a relationship is absent in the case of the use of industrial robots in the manufacturing industry. Studies have not distinguished between robotics and other automation technologies, such as AI, but the result suggests a heterogeneous complementarity with high-skilled employees for each type of automation technology.

This is the English version of the Japanese Discussion Paper (19-J-045) with some additional information and changes.