NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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COVID-19 and Implications for Automation

Alex W. Chernoff, Casey Warman

NBER Working Paper No. 27249
Issued in July 2020
NBER Program(s):Health Economics, Labor Studies

COVID-19 may accelerate the automation of jobs, as employers invest in technology to adapt the production process to safeguard against current and potential future pandemics. We identify occupations that have high automation potential and also exhibit a high degree of risk of viral infection. We then examine regional variation in terms of which local labor markets are most at risk. Next we outline the differential impact that COVID-19 may have on automatable jobs for different demographic groups. We find that occupations held by mid-educated females are at highest risk, notably including some healthcare, office and administrative support, and protective service occupations.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27249

 
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