New evidence begins to shed some light on the macroeconomic role of automation in the economy. In a new paper from London’s Center for Economic Research, George Graetz and Guy Michaels of Uppsala University and the London School of Economics, respectively, find that industrial robots have been a substantial driver of labor productivity and economic growth. Graetz and Michaels employ new data from the International Federation of Robotics to analyze the use of industrial robots across 14 industries in 17 countries between 1993 and 2007. Overall, they conclude that the use of robots within manufacturing raised the annual growth of labor productivity and GDP by 0.36 and 0.37 percentage points, respectively. That might not seem like a lot but it represents 10 percent of total GDP growth and 16 percent of labor productivity growth. Making that even more astounding is the fact that during the study’s time period robots achieved that impact while accounting for just 2.25 percent of the total assets of the industries studied.