• Media reports warn of a "Robot Apocalypse" that is already laying waste to jobs and depressing wages on a broad scale. Technological advance in the past has not prevented improving living standards or led to ever rising joblessness over the decades, but pessimists argue that recent advances are different.
  • The issue is important for financial markets. If structural factors such as automation are holding back inflation by more than in previous decades, then the Fed will have to proceed very slowly in raising rates.
  • We see no compelling evidence that the displacement effect of emerging technologies is any stronger than in the past. Robot usage has had a modest positive impact on overall productivity. Despite this contribution, overall productivity growth has been dismal over the past decade.
  • If automation is increasing 'exponentially' and displacing workers on a broad scale as some claim, one would expect to see accelerating productivity growth, robust capital spending and more violent shifts in occupational shares. Exactly the opposite has occurred.
  • Periods of strong growth in automation have historically been associated with robust, not lackluster, wage gains, contrary to the consensus view.
  • The Fed was successful in meeting the 2% inflation target on average from 2000 to 2007, when the impact of the IT revolution on productivity (and costs) was stronger than that of robot automation today. This and other evidence suggest that it is difficult to make the case that robots will make it tougher for central banks to reach their inflation goals than did previous technological breakthroughs.
  • For investors, this means that we cannot rely on automation to keep inflation depressed irrespective of how tight labor markets become.

Recent breakthroughs in technology are awe-inspiring and unsettling. These advances are viewed with great trepidation by many because of the potential to replace humans in the production process. Hype over robots is particularly shrill. Media reports warn of a "Robot Apocalypse" that is already laying waste to jobs and depressing wages on a broad scale.

In the first in our series of Special Reports focusing on the structural factors that might be preventing central banks from reaching their inflation targets, we demonstrated that the impact of Amazon is overstated in the press. We estimated that E-commerce is depressing inflation in the U.S. by a mere 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points.

This Special Report tackles the impact of automation. We are optimistic that robot technology and artificial intelligence will significantly boost future productivity, and thus reduce costs. But, is there any evidence at the macro level that robot usage has been more deflationary than technological breakthroughs in the past and is, thus, a major driver of the low inflation rates we observe today across the major countries?

The question matters, especially for the outlook for central bank policy and the bond market. If structural factors are indeed holding back inflation by more than in previous decades, then the Fed will have to proceed very slowly in raising rates. However, if low inflation simply reflects long lags between wages and the tightening labor market, then inflation may suddenly lurch to life as it has at the end of past cycles. The bond market is not priced for that scenario.

Are Robots Different?

A Special Report from BCA's Technology Sector Strategy service suggested that the "robot revolution" could be as transformative as previous General Purpose Technologies (GPT), including the steam engine, electricity and the microchip.1 GPTs are technologies that radically alter the economy's production process and make a major contribution to living standards over time.

The term "robot" can have different meanings. The most basic definition is "a device that automatically performs complicated and often repetitive tasks," and this encompasses a broad range of machines: From the Jacquard Loom, which was invented over 200 years ago, on to Numerically Controlled (NC) mills and lathes, pick and place machines used in the manufacture of electronics, Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), and even homicidal robots from the future such as the Terminator.

Our Technology Sector report made the case that there is nothing particularly sinister about robots. They are just another chapter in a long history of automation. Nor is the displacement of workers unprecedented. The industrial revolution was about replacing human craft labor with capital (machines), which did high-volume work with better quality and productivity. This freed humans for work which had not yet been automated, along with designing, producing and maintaining the machinery.

Agriculture offers a good example. This sector involved over 50% of the U.S. labor force until the late 1800s. Steam and then internal combustion-powered tractors, which can be viewed as "robotic horses," contributed to a massive rise in output-per-man hour. The number of hours worked to produce a bushel of wheat fell by almost 98% from the mid-1800s to 1955. This put a lot of farm hands out of work, but these laborers were absorbed over time in other growing areas of the economy. It is the same story for all other historical technological breakthroughs. Change is stressful for those directly affected, but rising productivity ultimately lifts average living standards. Robots will be no different. As we discuss below, however, the increasing use of robots and AI may have a deeper and longer-lasting impact on inequality.

Strong Tailwinds

Chart II-1
Robots Are Getting Cheaper
Chart II-1

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Factory robots have improved immensely due to cheaper and more capable control and vision systems. As these systems evolve, the abilities of robots to move around their environment while avoiding obstacles will improve, as will their ability to perform increasingly complex tasks. Most importantly, robots are already able to do more than just routine tasks, thus enabling them to replace or aid humans in higher-skilled processes. Robot prices are also falling fast, especially after quality-adjusting the data (Chart II-1). Units are becoming easier to install, program and operate. These trends will help to reduce the barriers-to-entry for the large, untapped, market of small and medium sized enterprises.

Robots also offer the ability to do low-volume "customized" production and still keep unit costs low. In the future, self-learning robots will be able to optimize their own performance by analyzing the production of other robots around the world.

Robot usage is growing quickly according to data collected by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) that covers 23 countries. Industrial robot sales worldwide increased to almost 300,000 units in 2016, up 16% from the year before (Chart II-2). The stock of industrial robots globally has grown at an annual average pace of 10% since 2010, reaching slightly more than 1.8 million units in 2016.2

Robot usage is far from evenly distributed across industries. The automotive industry is the major consumer of industrial robots, holding 45% of the total stock in 2016 (Chart II-3). The computer & electronics industry is a distant second at 17%. Metals, chemicals and electrical/electronic appliances comprise the bulk of the remaining stock.

Chart II-2
Global Robot Usage
Chart II-2

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Chart II-3
Global Robot Usage By Industry (2016)
Chart II-3


As far as countries go, Japan has traditionally been the largest market for robots in the world. However, sales have been in a long-term downtrend and the stock of robots has recently been surpassed by China, which has ramped up robot purchases in recent years (Chart II-4).

Robot density, which is the stock of robots per 10 thousand employed in manufacturing, makes it easier to compare robot usage across countries (Chart II-5, panel 2). By this measure, China is not a heavy user of robots compared to other countries. South Korea stands at the top, well above the second-place finishers (Germany and Japan). Large automobile sectors in these three countries explain their high relative robot densities.

Chart II-4
Stock Of Robots By Country (I)
Chart II-4

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Chart II-5
Stock Of Robots By Country (II) (2016)
Chart II-5


While the growth rate of robot usage is impressive, it is from a very low base (outside of the automotive industry). The average number of robots per 10,000 employees is only 74 for the 23 countries in the IFR database. Robot use is tiny compared to total man hours worked.

Chart II-6
U.S. Investment In Robots
Chart II-6

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In the U.S., spending on robots is only about 5% of total business spending on equipment and software (Chart II-6). To put this into perspective, U.S. spending on information, communication and technology (ICT) equipment represented 35-40% of total capital equipment spending during the tech boom in the 1990s and early 2000s.3

The bottom line is that there is a lot of hype in the press, but robots are not yet widely used across countries or industries. It will be many years before business spending on robots approaches the scale of the 1990s/2000s IT boom.

A Deflationary Impact?

As noted above, we view robotics as another chapter in a long history of technological advancements. Pessimists suggest that the latest advances are different because they are inherently more threatening to the overall job market and wage share of total income. If the pessimists are right, what are the theoretical channels though which this would have a greater disinflationary effect relative to previous GPT technologies?

  • Faster Productivity Gains: Enhanced productivity drives down unit labor costs, which may be passed along to other industries (as cheaper inputs) and to the end consumer.
  • More Human Displacement: The jobs created in other areas may be insufficient to replace the jobs displaced by robots, leading to lower aggregate income and spending. The loss of income for labor will simply go to the owners of capital, but the point is that the labor share of income might decline. Deflationary pressures could build as aggregate demand falls short of supply. Even in industries that are slow to automate, just the threat of being replaced by robots may curtail wage demands.
  • Inequality: Some have argued that rising inequality is partly because the spoils of new technologies over the past 20 years have largely gone to the owners of capital. This shift may have undermined aggregate demand because upper income households tend to have a high saving rate, thereby depressing overall aggregate demand and inflationary pressures. The human displacement effect, described above, would exacerbate the inequality effect by transferring income from labor to the owners of capital.

1. Productivity

It is difficult to see the benefits of robots on productivity at the economy-wide level. Productivity growth has been abysmal across the major developed countries since the Great Recession, but the productivity slowdown was evident long before Lehman collapsed (Chart II-7). The productivity slowdown continued even as automation using robots accelerated after 2010.

Chart II-7
Productivity Collapsed Despite Automation
Chart II-7

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Some analysts argue that lackluster productivity is simply a statistical mirage because of the difficulties in measuring output in today's economy. We will not get into the details of the mismeasurement debate here. We encourage interested clients to read a Special Report by the BCA Global Investment Strategy service entitled "Weak Productivity Growth: Don't Blame The Statisticians." 4 Our colleague Peter Berezin makes the case that the unmeasured utility accruing from free internet services is large, but so was the unmeasured utility from antibiotics, radio, indoor plumbing and air conditioning. He argues that the real reason that productivity growth has slowed is that educational attainment has decelerated and businesses have plucked many of the low-hanging fruit made possible by the IT revolution. Cyclical factors stemming from the Great Recession and financial crisis are also to blame, as capital spending has been slow to recover in most of the advanced economies.

Some other factors that help to explain the decline in aggregate productivity are provided in Appendix II-1.

Nonetheless, the poor aggregate productivity performance does not mean that there are no benefits to using robots. The benefits are evident at the industrial level, where measurement issues are presumably less vexing for statisticians (i.e., it is easier to measure the output of the auto industry, for example, than for the economy as a whole).

Chart II-8 plots the level of robot density in 2016 with average annual productivity growth since 2004 for 10 U.S. manufacturing industries (robot density is presented in deciles). A loose positive relationship is apparent.

Chart II-8
U.S.: Productivity Vs. Robot Density
Chart II-8


Academic studies estimate that robots have contributed importantly to economy-wide productivity growth. The Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) estimated that labor productivity growth rises by 0.07 to 0.08 percentage points for every 1% rise in the rate of robot density.5 This implies that robots accounted for roughly 10% of the productivity growth experienced since the early 1990s in the major economies. Another study of 14 industries across 17 countries by the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) found that robots boosted annual productivity growth by 0.36 percentage points over the 1993-2007 period.6 This is impressive because, if this estimate holds true for the U.S., robots' contribution to the 2½% average annual U.S. total productivity growth over the period was 14%.

To put the importance of robotics into historical context, its contribution to productivity so far is roughly on par with that of the steam engine (Chart II-9). It falls well short of the 0.6 percentage point annual productivity contribution from the IT revolution. The implication is that, while the overall productivity performance has been dismal since 2007, it would have been even worse in the absence of robots.

What does this mean for inflation? According to the "cost push" model of the inflation process, an increase in productivity of 0.36% that is not accompanied by associated wage gains would reduce unit labor costs (ULC) by the same amount. This should trim inflation if the cost savings are passed on to the end consumer, although by less than 0.36% because robots can only depress variable costs, not fixed costs. There indeed appears to be a slight negative relationship between robot density and unit labor costs at the industrial level in the U.S., although the relationship is loose at best (Chart II-10).

Chart II-9
GPT Contribution To Productivity
Chart II-9


Chart II-10
U.S.: Unit Labor Costs Vs. Robot Density
Chart II-10


In theory, divergences in productivity across industries should only generate shifts in relative prices, and "cost push" inflation dynamics should only operate in the short term. Most economists believe that inflation is a purely monetary phenomenon in the long run, which means that central banks should be able to offset positive productivity shocks by lowering interest rates enough that aggregate demand keeps up with supply.

Indeed, the Fed was successful in meeting the 2% inflation target on average from 2000 to 2007, when the impact of the IT revolution on productivity (and costs) was stronger than that of robot automation today. Also, note that inflation is currently low across the major advanced economies, irrespective of the level of robot intensity (Chart II-11). From this perspective, it is hard to see that robots should take much of the credit for today's low inflation backdrop.

Chart II-11
Inflation Vs. Robot Density
Chart II-11


2. Human Displacement

A key question is whether robots and humans are perfect substitutes. If new technologies introduced in the past were perfect substitutes, then it would have led to massive underemployment and all of the income in the economy would eventually have migrated to the owners of capital. The fact that average real household incomes have risen over time, and that there has been no secular upward trend in unemployment rates over the centuries, means that new technologies were at least partly complementary with labor (i.e., the jobs lost as a direct result of productivity gains were more than replaced in other areas of the economy over time).

Rather than replacing workers, in many cases tech made humans more productive in their jobs. Rising productivity lifted income and thereby led to the creation of new jobs in other areas. The capital that workers bring to the production process - the skills, know-how and special talents - became more valuable as interaction with technology increased. Like today, there were concerns in the 1950s and 1960s that computerization would displace many types of jobs and lead to widespread idleness and falling household income. With hindsight, there was little to worry about.

Some argue that this time is different. Futurists frequently assert that the pace of innovation is not just accelerating, it is accelerating 'exponentially'. Robots can now, or will soon be able to, replace humans in tasks that require cognitive skills. This means that they will be far less complementary to humans than in the past. The displacement effect could thus be much larger, especially given the impressive advances in artificial intelligence. However, Box II-1 discusses why the threat to workers posed by AI is also heavily overblown in the media.

The CEP multi-country study cited above did not find a large displacement effect; robot usage did not affect the overall number of hours worked in the 23 countries studied (although it found distributional effects - see below). In other words, rather than suppressing overall labor input, robot usage has led to more output, higher productivity, more jobs and stronger wage and income growth.

A report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI)7 takes a broader look at automation, using productivity growth and capital spending as proxies. Automation is what occurs as the implementation of new technologies is incorporated along with new capital equipment or software to replace human labor in the workplace. If automation is increasing 'exponentially' and displacing workers on a broad scale, one would expect to see accelerating productivity growth, robust capital spending, and more violent shifts in occupational shares. Exactly the opposite has occurred. Indeed, the report demonstrates that occupational employment shifts were far slower in the 2000-2015 period than in any decade in the 1900s (Chart II-12).

Box II-1

The Threat From AI Is Overblown

Media coverage of AI/Deep Learning has established a consensus view that we believe is well off the mark. A recent Special Report from BCA's Technology Sector Strategy service dispels the myths surrounding AI.8 We believe the consensus, in conjunction with warnings from a variety of sources, is leading to predictions, policy discussions, and even career choices based on a flawed premise. It is worth noting that the most vocal proponents of AI as a threat to jobs and even humanity are not AI experts.

At the root of this consensus is the false view that emerging AI technology is anything like true intelligence. Modern AI is not remotely comparable in function to a biological brain. Scientists have a limited understanding of how brains work, and it is unlikely that a poorly understood system can be modeled on a computer. The misconception of intelligence is amplified by headlines claiming an AI "taught itself" a particular task. No AI has ever "taught itself" anything: All AI results have come about after careful programming by often PhD-level experts, who then supplied the system with vast amounts of high quality data to train it. Often these systems have been iterated a number of times and we only hear of successes, not the failures.

The need for careful preparation of the AI system and the requirement for high quality data limits the applicability of AI to specific classes of problems where the application justifies the investment in development and where sufficient high-quality data exists. There may be numerous such applications but doubtless many more where AI would not be suitable. Similarly, an AI system is highly adapted to a single problem, or type of problem, and becomes less useful when its application set is expanded. In other words, unlike a human whose abilities improve as they learn more things, an AI's performance on a particular task declines as it does more things.

There is a popular misconception that increased computing power will somehow lead to ever improving AI. It is the algorithm which determines the outcome, not the computer performance: Increased computing power leads to faster results, not different results. Advanced computers might lead to more advanced algorithms, but it is pointless to speculate where that may lead: A spreadsheet from 2001 may work faster today but it still gives the same answer. In any event, it is worth noting that a tool ceases to be a tool when it starts having an opinion: there is little reason to develop a machine capable of cognition even if that were possible.

Chart II-12
U.S. Job Rotation Has Slowed
Chart II-12


The EPI report also notes that these indicators of automation increased rapidly in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a period that saw solid wage growth for American workers. These indicators weakened in the two periods of stagnant wage growth: from 1973 to 1995 and from 2002 to the present. Thus, there is no historical correlation between increases in automation and wage stagnation. Rather than automation, the report argues that it was China's entry into the global trading system that was largely responsible for the hollowing out of the U.S. manufacturing sector. We have also made this argument in previous research.

The fact that the major advanced economies are all at, or close to, full employment supports the view that automation has not been an overwhelming headwind for job creation. Chart II-13 demonstrates that there has been no relationship between the change in robot density and the loss of manufacturing jobs since 1993.

Japan is an interesting case study because it is on the leading edge of the problems associated with an aging population. Interestingly, despite a worsening labor shortage, robot density among Japanese firms is falling. Moreover, the Japanese data show that the industries that have a high robot usage tend to be more, not less, generous with wages than the robot laggard industries. Please see Appendix II-2 for more details.

Chart II-13
Global Manufacturing Jobs Vs. Robot Density
Chart II-13


The bottom line is that it does not appear that labor displacement related to automation has been responsible in any meaningful way for the lackluster average real income growth in the advanced economies since 2007.

3. Inequality

That said, there is evidence suggesting that robots are having important distributional effects. The CEP study found that robot use has reduced hours for low-skilled and (to a lesser extent) middle-skilled workers relative to the highly skilled.

This finding makes sense conceptually. Technological change can exacerbate inequality by either increasing the relative demand for skilled over unskilled workers (so-called "skill-biased" technological change), or by inducing companies to substitute machinery and other forms of physical capital for workers (so-called "capital-biased" technological change). The former affects the distribution of labor income, while the latter affects the share of income in GDP that labor receives.

A Special Report appearing in this publication in 2014 focused on the relationship between technology and inequality.9 The report highlighted that much of the recent technological change has been skill-biased, which heavily favors workers with the talent and education to perform cognitively-demanding tasks, even as it reduces demand for workers with only rudimentary skills. Moreover, technological innovations and globalization increasingly allow the most talented individuals to market their skills to a much larger audience, thus bidding up their wages.

The evidence suggests that faster productivity growth leads to higher average real wages and improved living standards, at least over reasonably long horizons. Nonetheless, technological change can, and in the future almost certainly will, increase income inequality. The poor will gain, but not as much as the rich. The fact that higher-income households tend to maintain a higher savings rate than low-income households means that the shift in the distribution of income toward the higher-income households will continue to modestly weigh on aggregate demand.

Can the distribution effect be large enough to have a meaningful depressing impact on inflation? We believe that it has played some role in the lackluster recovery since the Great Recession, with the result that an extended period of underemployment has delivered a persistent deflationary impulse in the major developed economies. However, as discussed above, stimulative monetary policy has managed to overcome the impact of inequality and other headwinds on aggregate demand, and has returned the major countries roughly to full employment. Indeed, this year will be the first since 2007 that the G20 economies as a group will be operating slightly above a full employment level. Inflation should respond to excess demand conditions, irrespective of any ongoing demand headwind stemming from inequality.


Technological change has led to rising living standards over the decades. It did not lead to widespread joblessness and did not prevent central banks from meeting their inflation targets over time. The pessimists argue that this time is different because robots/AI have a much larger displacement effect. Perhaps it will be 20 years before we will know the answer. But our main point is that we have found no evidence that recent advances in robotics and AI, while very impressive, will be any different in their macro impact. There is little evidence that the modern economy is less capable in replacing the jobs lost to automation, although the nature of new technologies may be affecting the distribution of income more than in the past.

Real incomes for the middle- and lower-income classes have been stagnant for some time, but this is partly due to productivity growth that is too low, not too high.

Moreover, it is not at all clear that positive productivity shocks are disinflationary beyond the near term. The link between robot usage and unit labor costs over the past couple of decades is loose at best at the industry level, and is non-existent when looking across the major countries. The Fed was able to roughly meet its 2% inflation target in the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s, despite IT's impressive contribution to productivity growth during that period.

For investors, this means that we cannot rely on automation to keep inflation depressed irrespective of how tight labor markets become. The global output gap will shift into positive territory this year for the first time since the Great Recession. Any resulting rise in inflation will come as a shock since the bond market has discounted continued low inflation for as far as the eye can see. We expect bond yields and implied volatility to rise this year, which may undermine risk assets in the second half.

Mark McClellan
Senior Vice President
The Bank Credit Analyst

Brian Piccioni
Vice President
Technology Sector Strategy

Appendix II-1

Why Is Productivity So Low?

A recent study by the OECD10 reveals that, while frontier firms are charging ahead, there is a widening gap between these firms and the laggards. The study analyzed firm-level data on labor productivity and total factor productivity for 24 countries. "Frontier" firms are defined to be those with productivity in the top 5%. These firms are 3-4 times as productive as the remaining 95%. The authors argue that the underlying cause of this yawning gap is that the diffusion rate of new technologies from the frontier firms to the laggards has slowed within industries. This could be due to rising barriers to entry, which has reduced contestability in markets. Curtailing the creative-destruction process means that there is less pressure to innovate. Barriers to entry may have increased because "...the importance of tacit knowledge as a source of competitive advantage for frontier firms may have risen if increasingly complex technologies were to increase the amount and sophistication of complementary investments required for technological adoption." 11

The bottom line is that aggregate productivity is low because the robust productivity gains for the tech-savvy frontier companies are offset by the long tail of firms that have been slow to adopt the latest technology. Indeed, business spending has been especially weak in this expansion. Chart II-14 highlights that the slowdown in U.S. productivity growth has mirrored that of the capital stock.

Chart II-14
U.S. Capex Shortfall Partly To Blame For Poor Productivity
Chart II-14

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Appendix II-2

Japan - The Leading Edge

Japan is an interesting case study because it is on the leading edge of the problems associated with an aging population. The popular press is full of stories of how robots are taking over. If the stories are to be believed, robots are the answer to the country's shrinking workforce. Robots now serve as helpers for the elderly, priests for weddings and funerals, concierges for hotels and even sexual partners (don't ask). Prime Minister Abe's government has launched a 5-year push to deepen the use of intelligent machines in manufacturing, supply chains, construction and health care.

Indeed, Japan was the leader in robotics use for decades. Nonetheless, despite all the hype, Japan's stock of industrial robots has actually been eroding since the late 1990s (Chart II-4). Numerous surveys show that firms plan to use robots more in the future because of the difficulty in hiring humans. And there is huge potential: 90% of Japanese firms are small- and medium-sized (SME) and most are not currently using robots. Yet, there has been no wave of robot purchases as of 2016. One problem is the cost; most sophisticated robots are simply too expensive for SMEs to consider.

This suggests that one cannot blame robots for Japan's lack of wage growth. The labor shortage has become so acute that there are examples of companies that have turned down sales due to insufficient manpower. Possible reasons why these companies do not offer higher wages to entice workers are beyond the scope of this report. But the fact that the stock of robots has been in decline since the late 1990s does not support the view that Japanese firms are using automation on a broad scale to avoid handing out pay hikes. Indeed, Chart II-15 highlights that wage deflation has been the greatest in industries that use almost no robots. Highly automated industries, such as Transportation Equipment and Electronics, have been among the most generous. This supports the view that the productivity afforded by increased robot usage encourages firms to pay their workers more.

Looking ahead, it seems implausible that robots can replace all the retiring Japanese workers in the years to come. The workforce will shrink at an annual average pace of 0.33% between 2020 and 2030, according to the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training. Productivity growth would have to rise by the same amount to fully offset the dwindling number of workers. But that would require a surge in robot density of 4.1, assuming that each rise in robot density of one adds 0.08% to the level of productivity (Chart II-16). The level of robot sales would have to jump by a whopping 2½ times in the first year and continue to rise at the same pace each year thereafter to make this happen. Of course, the productivity afforded by new robots may accelerate in the coming years, but the point is that robot usage would likely have to rise astronomically to offset the impact of the shrinking population.

Chart II-15
Japan: Earnings Vs. Robot Density
Chart II-15


Chart II-16
Japan: Where Is The Flood Of Robots?
Chart II-16

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The implication is that, as long as the Japanese economy continues to grow above roughly 1%, the labor market will continue to tighten and wage rates will eventually begin to rise.

  • 1 Please see Technology Sector Strategy Special Report "The Coming Robotics Revolution," dated May 16, 2017, available at tech.bcaresearch.com
  • 2 Note that this includes only robots used in manufacturing industry, and thus excludes robots used in the service sector and households. However, robot usage in services is quite limited and those used in households do not add to GDP.
  • 3 Note that ICT investment and capital stock data includes robots.
  • 4 Please see BCA Global Investment Strategy Special Report "Weak Productivity Growth: Don't Blame The Statisticians," dated March 25, 2016, available at gis.bcaresearch.com
  • 5 Centre for Economic and Business Research (January 2017): "The Impact of Automation." A Report for Redwood. In this report, robot density is defined to be the number of robots per million hours worked.
  • 6 Graetz, G., and Michaels, G. (2015): "Robots At Work." CEP Discussion Paper No 1335.
  • 7 Mishel, L., and Bivens, J. (2017): "The Zombie Robot Argument Lurches On," Economic Policy Institute.
  • 8 Please see BCA Technology Sector Strategy Special Report "Bad Information - Why Misreporting Deep Learning Advances Is A Problem," dated January 9, 2018, available at tech.bcaresearch.com
  • 9 Please see The Bank Credit Analyst, "Rage Against The Machines: Is Technology Exacerbating Inequality?" dated June 2014, available at bca.bcaresearch.com
  • 10OECD Productivity Working Papers, No. 05 (2016): "The Best Versus the Rest: The Global Productivity Slowdown, Divergence Across Firms and the Role of Public Policy."
  • 11 Please refer to page 27.