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Japan: Land of the Rising Robots

September 27, 2018

Robots help travelers find their way in Japan’s airports and train stations. (iStock by Getty Images/ TeerawatWinyarat)

In Japan, deaths outnumber births by 1,000 people per day on average. The population in some regions is now smaller than what it was in the 1950’s. The combination of its rapidly declining labor force—expected to fall even faster than the overall population, and the limited influx of immigrants, creates a powerful incentive for robots and artificial intelligence. In this podcast, IMF economists Todd Schneider and Gee Hee Hong say Japan has no choice but to embrace robots and automation to help the shrinking workforce become more productive. Schneider and Hong coauthored Land of the Rising Robots, an article featured in the June 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.

Todd Schneider, is a Deputy Division Chief, and Gee Hee Hong, is an economist, both in the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department.