Oktober 2019

IZA DP No. 12716: People versus Machines in the UK: Minimum Wages, Labor Reallocation and Automatable Jobs

This study follows the Lordan and Neumark (2018) analysis for the US, and examines whether minimum wage increases affect employment opportunities in automatable jobs in the UK for low-skilled low-wage workers. Overall, I find that increasing the minimum wage decreases the share of automatable employment held by low-skilled low-wage workers, and increases the likelihood that workers in automatable jobs become disemployed. On aggregate the effect size is modest, but I also provide evidence that these effects are larger in more recent years. The study also highlights significant heterogeneity by industry and demographic group, including more substantive adverse effects for older low-skilled workers in manufacturing, as well as effects at the intensive margin.