On the economic consequences of automation and robotics

Orlando Gomes (ISCAL – Lisbon Accounting and Business School, Politécnico de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal) (CEFAGE-ISCAL Research Center, Évora, Portugal)
Sónia Pereira (ISCAL – Lisbon Accounting and Business School, Politécnico de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences

ISSN: 1026-4116

Publication date: 9 January 2019



The academic literature is currently placing significant attention on the study of the socio-economic consequences of the observable fast automation of all sectors of economic activity. The purpose of this paper is to systematize meaningful ideas on the economic impact of the rise of the robots.


With the goal of evaluating the channels through which the current wave of fast technological change affects the organization and performance of the economy and the behavior of agents, the paper is structured into two parts. The first part assesses the state of knowledge regarding the potential revolutionary role of robot use in production. The second part designs a model aimed at exposing the interplay between the most prominent features associated with the new economic reality.


The current wave of innovation has implications that escape conventional economic thinking. The evaluation and prediction of what the new phenomena brings is fundamental to design policies that prevent income inequality to widen and growth to slow down.

Research limitations/implications

The full macroeconomic impact of the fast, pervasive and irreversible automation of production is far from being completely assimilated. At this level, no benchmark model should be interpreted as a definitive framework of analysis, and economic thought should evolve alongside with empirically observed evidence.


We are facing an automation convulsion that replaces humans by machines at an unprecedented fast rate. This paper systematizes ideas about this process and offers a novel conceptual model to better understand what really is at stake.



Orlando Gomes and Sónia Pereira (2019) "On the economic consequences of automation and robotics", Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print

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: https://doi.org/10.1108/JEAS-04-2018-0049



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