Effects of automation on the gender pay gap: the case of Estonia
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This paper investigates how investments in automation-intensive goods affects the gender pay gap. The evidence on the effects of automation on the labour market is growing; however, little is known about the implications of automation for the gender pay gap. The data used in the paper are from a matched employer-employee dataset incorporating detailed information on firms, their imports, and employee-level data for Estonian manufacturing and services employers for 2006–2018. We define automation using the imports of intermediates embedding automation technologies. The effect of automation is estimated using simple Mincerian wage equations and the causality of the effect is validated using propensity score matching. We find that introducing automation enlarges the gender pay gap. The negative effect of importing automation-intensive goods for female employees is about two to four percentage points larger than for male employees. The propensity score matching confirms that the introduction of automation has a higher causal effect on the wages of male employees than female employees.
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