The Impact of Robot Imports on the Performance of Chinese Firms

Author Name YANG Qizhong (Toyo University) / INUI Tomohiko (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) / KIM Young Gak (Senshu University)
Creation Date/NO. June 2023 23-J-020
Research Project East Asian Industrial Productivity
Download / Links


This paper investigates the impact of industrial robot imports on the performance of Chinese firms using the Chinese industrial firm database and customs data. The empirical results show that robot imports have no significant effect on productivity, but a positive and significant effect on output and number of employees. With regard to trade performance, an increase in unit price of exports and total value of exports is observed for firms that have imported robots. In addition, an increase in the unit price of imports and a decrease in the total value of imports are observed for the firms concerned. On the other hand, both the export and import upstreamness in the global value chain of the firms decreases with an increase in robot imports, with the former having a greater impact. This indicates that robot imports are expanding the range of tasks for firms in the global value chain.