How to Build a Robots! Database

Articles and reports: 11-633-X2020004


Recent advances in artificial intelligence have rekindled ancient fears that robots will replace humans in the economy. Previous waves of automation changed but did not reduce labour’s role, but robots’ human-like flexibility could make this time different. Whether or not it will is an empirical question that has lacked suitable data to answer. This paper describes the creation of a dataset to fill the evidence gap in Canada. Robots! is firm-level panel data on robot adoption created using Canadian import data. The data identify a substantial amount of the robot investment in the Canadian economy from 1996 to 2017. Although many robots are imported by robotics wholesalers or programmers for resale, the majority of them can be attributed to their final (direct) adopting firm. The data can be used to study the impact of robot adoption at the economic region, industry or firm-level.

Issue Number: 2020004
Author(s): Dixon, Jay
FormatRelease dateMore information
HTMLNovember 2, 2020
PDFNovember 2, 2020