By Elijah Asdourian, Alexander Conner, Nasiha Salwati, Louise Sheiner
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Larger firms more likely to adopt advanced technologies
Using novel data on 300,000 firms from the Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey over the 2016-2018 period, Daron Acemoglu of MIT and co-authors find that firms that adopt advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and specialized software, tend to be larger and employ more workers compared to others in their industry. As a result, while only 2%-40% of U.S. firms adopt advanced technologies, they expose 12%-64% of U.S. employees to such technologies. The authors estimate that the use of advanced technologies is associated with 11.4% higher labor productivity and can explain 16%-30% of the labor productivity differences across small and large firms in a given industry. Smaller and older firms are less likely to adopt advanced technologies, likely reflecting the large fixed costs and organizational barriers associated with…