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Robots Increase Gender Pay Gap Despite Raising Wages Overall

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Robots at work in a factory.

A new study has found that when industries replace workers with robots, wages rise for all on average due to productivity gains, but the difference in pay for men and women widens.

Credit dpa picture alliance/Alamy

Researchers at King's College London in the U.K. studied the impact of automation on 20 European countries and found that automation pushed up all wages on average, but widened the gender pay gap.

The study determined that the number of robots per 10,000 workers rose an average 47% from 2006 to 2014, and correlated a 10% increase in robot workers to a 1.8% boost in the gender pay gap.

The researchers attribute the increased pay discrepancy to the fact that more men hold medium- and high-skilled jobs that disproportionately benefit from automation.

Countries with already high gender inequality and less support for women in the workforce saw a bigger increase in the gender pay gap due to automation, according to the research, which also found no statistically significant impact on the gender pay gap in countries with low gender inequality.

From New Scientist
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