Geografia dell’automazione industriale. L’impatto dell’uso dei robot sulle localizzazioni manifatturiere
Progress in technology are critical in changing spatial patterns and locational decisions of industrial production. Especially robotics is a key element of the industry 4.0 with disruptive potentialities, such as to generate spatial leapfrogging phenomena, in which a drastic change in technology allows the emergence of new locations of economic activities and new innovation hubs. The aim of this work is to understand how industrial robots may affect the location of production and change the international fragmentation of production and GVCs in the future. Results shows opposite trends. Robotics seems to be able to slow down (at least in some industrial sectors) the pace of offshoring, but it does not seem to be able to lead to the reshoring of activities to developed economies. And while labour-cost differentials still remain a key feature in firms’ decisions of where to locate manufactures, especially of goods with a high labour content, demand factors, such as the size and growth of local markets, are progressively becoming major determinants.