Robots and the gender pay gap in Europe

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Berkay Özcan, Julia Philipp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Could robotization make the gender pay gap worse? We provide the first large-scale evidence on the impact of industrial robots on the gender pay gap using data from 20 European countries. We show that robot adoption increases both male and female earnings but also increases the gender pay gap. Using an instrumental variable strategy, we find that a ten percent increase in robotization leads to a 1.8% increase in the gender pay gap. These results are driven by countries with high initial levels of gender inequality and can be explained by the fact that men at medium- and high-skill occupations disproportionately benefit from robotization, through a productivity effect. We rule out the possibility that our results are driven by mechanical changes in the gender composition of the workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103693
JournalEuropean Economic Review
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Automation
  • Europe
  • Gender pay gap
  • Industrial robots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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