Robots have radically changed the demand for skills and the role of workers in production at an unprecedented pace, with little scope for human capital adjustments. This has affected the job stability and the economic perspectives of large parts of the population in all industrialized countries. Recent evidence has shown negative effects of robots on employment and wages. In this study, we examine how exposure to robots and its consequences on job stability and economic uncertainty have affected individual demographic behavior. Using data from the American Community Survey (ACS), we follow the empirical strategy adopted by Acemoglu and Restrepo (2018) and find that individuals living in US regions affected by intense robot penetration were less likely to marry and also more likely to divorce. Furthermore, exposure to robots reduced the overall fertility rate, but increased the number of children born out of wedlock. We also explore the differential effect on the labor market opportunities of men and women and find that in commuting zones that were more exposed to robots the gender-wage gap declined. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the changes in labor markets triggered by robot adoption have decreased the marriage-market value of men.
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