Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date





This paper argues that automation both complements and replaces workers. Extending the Acemoglu-Restrepo model of automation to consider labor quality, we obtain a Remainder Effect: while automation displaces labor on some tasks, it raises the returns to skill on remaining tasks across skill groups. This effect increases between-firm pay inequality while labor displacement affects within-firm inequality. Using job ad data, we find firm adoption of information technologies leads to both greater demand for diverse skills and higher pay across skill groups. This accounts for most of the sorting of skills to high paying firms that is central to rising inequality.

Find on SSRN



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.