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The employment implications of additive manufacturing

Felice, G., Lamperti, F. and Piscitello, L. ORCID: (2022) The employment implications of additive manufacturing. Industry and Innovation, 29 (3). pp. 333-366. ISSN 1469-8390

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2021.1967730


In spite of the fast spread of Additive Manufacturing (AM) in several countries and industries, its impact on employment is still unexplored and theoretically ambiguous. On the one hand, higher product customisation and shorter time-to-market entail an expansion of the market, thus fostering labour demand; on the other hand, AM profoundly changes the way goods are produced and little evidence exists regarding the complementarity or substitutability between AM technologies and labour. In this article, we contribute to fill this gap. We estimate labour demand functions augmented with a (patent-based) proxy of AM-related innovation in 31 OECD countries, across 21 manufacturing industries, over the 2009–2017 period. Our econometric findings show an overall positive relationship between AM technologies and employment at the industry level, due to both market expansion and complementarity between labour and AM technologies, while no labour-saving effect emerges. The importance of each mechanism, however, is heterogeneous across sectors.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:100560
Uncontrolled Keywords:Management of Technology and Innovation, General Business, Management and Accounting
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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