Automation, employment, and reshoring: Case studies of the apparel and electronics industries

The paper provides in-depth case studies of the potential impact of new automation technologies on employment in apparel and electronics global supply chains, focusing on companies that are makers and users of industrial robots and other automation technologies. The paper provides a shop floor perspective on the technological bottlenecks to the use of automation in these industries, which have been strategically important for developing countries and have experienced extensive offshoring of production in recent decades. We also focus on these industries because they illustrate challenges to the automation of seemingly routine work as well as the technological bottlenecks that are specific to each.

The paper has been published on the special issue of the Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal on “Automation, Artificial Intelligence, & Labor Law” (Volume 41, Issue 1), available at the following address: