Automation and taxation

Kerstin Hötte, Angelos Theodorakopoulos *, Pantelis Koutroumpis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Do automation-induced changes in labour and capital income undermine public revenues? Decomposing taxes by source (labour, capital, sales), we analyse the impact of automation on tax revenues and the structure of taxation in nineteen EU countries during 1995–2016. Before 2008 robot diffusion was associated with a decline in total tax revenues and taxes from capital, along with decreasing labour and capital income and output. After 2007, the negative effects diminish. Information and Communication Technologies show a weak negative but persistent effect on total tax revenues and taxes on goods for the full period, and an increase in capital income. Overall, the impact of automation on production and taxation varies over time. Whether automation erodes taxation depends on the technology and stage of diffusion. Concerns about public budgets appear myopic when focusing on the short run and ignoring relevant technological trends.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalOxford Economic Papers
Early online date15 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © Oxford University Press 2024. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in anymedium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Data Access Statement

Supplementary material is available on the OUP website at the article page []. These are the online appendix and the replication package contained in the zip folder The replication package includes the Stata code used to produce all tables and figures and all associated publicly available data. However, the proprietary dataset ‘World Robotics 2016’ with information on robot deliveries and stock is purchased from the commercial provider International Federation of Robotics - IFR ( and, therefore, we are not allowed to make the data public. Any interested researcher can purchase the data directly from IFR. The replication package provides detailed information about the data sources, variables, and steps to estimate all results, export tables and plot figures for both the manuscript and online appendix


  • Technological change
  • ICT
  • Robots
  • Fiscal revenues
  • Labor


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  • Automation and Taxation

    Hötte, K., Theodorakopoulos, A. & Koutroumpis, P., Apr 2022, 57 p.

    Research output: Preprint or Working paperPreprint

    Open Access

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