Robots do welding at a Porsche factory in Leipzig, Germany

Roboshoring: the path toward deglobalization?

  • More and more companies are beginning to replace workers with robots
  • This will not necessarily bring manufacturing back to rich countries
  • Even if it does, the phenomenon will not create industrial jobs
  • A neo-Luddite reaction to this trend is possible

Globalization has led firms to offshore many of their production processes to take advantage of lower labor costs. Notably, they have established affiliates or outsourced to manufacturers in Asia. With recent trends toward economic nationalism, calls to “bring industry back home” have grown louder.

One important feature of globalization is that various locations around the world are gradually specializing in particular production processes. Adam Smith’s proverbial pin factory is now better represented by the “global factory” of products such as the iPhone, with a fragmentation of processes around the planet. Many of our products come from global value chains (GVCs).

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Dr. Emmanuel Martin
Reshoring seems to be more frequent in smaller companies, which tend to have less experience in offshoring
read more about it in the report
What's inside
  • More and more companies are beginning to replace workers with robots
  • This will not necessarily bring manufacturing back to rich countries
  • Even if it does, the phenomenon will not create industrial jobs
  • A neo-Luddite reaction to this trend is possible
Who will benefit?
  • Report is targeted to the decision makers in cross country manufacturing – suppliers, manufacturers, logistics.
  • Also considered useful for the administrative university facilities, to better understand the possibe effects of current decisions.
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