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HH-4: Labor Markets and Human Capital
Do Robots Increase Wealth Dispersion?
1Sveriges riksbank, Sweden; 2Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Germany
We demonstrate that increased automation has a significant impact on both static and dynamic aspects of wealth distribution. Households who are more exposed to robots at work accumulate less wealth and experience greater downward mobility in the wealth distribution. The negative wealth effects of robots are not merely a consequence of differences in earned incomes or in saving rates. We argue and provide evidence that the adverse effects of rapid robotization on individual workers’ human capital, and thereby, on their financial risk taking behavior and investment choices appear to be an additional operative channel.
Globalization, Competition and Entrepreneurial Activity: Evidence from US Households
1University of Houston, United States of America; 2Georgia State University
Motivated by the accelerated decline in US entrepreneurship in the past two decades, and using a unique panel dataset of US households, we theoretically and empirically analyze the economy-wide effects of increased product market competition through low-cost import penetration on household entrepreneurial activity. Our study is unique in documenting the asymmetric inter-sectorial shifts in entrepreneurial activity between (trade) exposed and non-exposed sectors. Greater import competition reduces especially business entry in exposed sectors by individuals with low occupational skills (for example, those in routine task-intensity service occupations or exhibiting high occupational mobility), but it increases entry by highly educated individuals in high-skill non-exposed sectors. The results are robust to several alternative hypotheses based on long-run trends in US entrepreneurship and labor market specialization, local collateral and credit shocks, long-run bank distress effects, and dynamic feedback effects.
Clustering Fosters Investment: Local Agglomeration and Household Portfolio Choice
1Cornell University, United States of America; 2University of Miami, United States of America; 3University of South Carolina, United States of America
We investigate the impact of local agglomeration economies on household portfolio choice. Using data from U.S. household surveys, we document that individuals who work in locally agglomerated industries are more likely to invest in risky assets. This pattern is best explained by industry clusters enhancing human capital and in turn, raising workers' allocations to risky assets. Our findings highlight the role of geography in shaping household financial decisions.
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