Reducing automation risk through career mobility: where and for whom?

Automation risk prevails less in large cities compared to small cities but little is known about the drivers of this emerging urban phenomenon. A major challenge is that automation risk is quantified by work-related tasks that allows for measurement through occupation, which is in turn implicitly related to local economic structure and to individual career paths. This paper examines the role of working in cities on changes in automation risk through individual career mobility. Using panel data on Swedish workers, we show that the metropolitan effect of reducing automation risk is mainly induced through inter-firm job mobility. Separate estimates for different groups show that this effect accrues mostly to native, high-skilled and male workers.