Technological advancement, import penetration and labour markets: Evidence from Thailand

Juthathip Jongwanich, Archanun Kohpaiboon, Ayako Obashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the impact of advanced technology and import penetration on changes in employment positions and income, as well as the possibility that workers become unemployed due to such technological progress. Two proxies of advanced technology are used, ICT and the intensity of robot usage. The analysis considers changes in employment status and income, together with workers’ industrial adjustments in investigating the impact of technological advancements and imports, which are delineated into raw materials, capital goods and final products. The results show that in Thailand, the impact of advanced technology in pushing workers out of the job market is limited. Instead, it tends to affect the reallocation of workers between skilled and unskilled positions. The results vary among workers’ industrial destinations and proxies of technology. Skill upgrading is likely to occur more when workers stay or move within manufacturing sectors, while ICT usage tends to generate more favourable outcomes than robot adoption. Workers in comparatively capital-intensive industries, including the automotive and plastics and rubber sectors, tend to receive greater benefits from technological growth. Our results highlight a diminished negative impact resulting from imports, particularly those of capital and final goods, in comparison to that of technological advancements. Technology adoption and imports are likely to lower workers’ income regardless of their industrial destinations and proxies of technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105746
JournalWorld Development
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Import penetration
  • Labour markets
  • Technological advancement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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