Parallel session
The future of work

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted upon the way that production is organised and the way in which consumption takes place. There has been a much greater reliance on remote work and an increased use of automation technologies in many sectors, allowing firms to maintain and increase production levels in the face of social distancing and strict lockdowns.

On the consumption side, there has been an increased use of e-commerce. To a large extent, such changes were underway prior to the pandemic with the pandemic increasing the speed of change rather than the direction. With vaccines being rolled out – albeit unevenly – and the direct effects of the pandemic beginning to subside in many parts of the world, it is an opportune time to consider the longer-term impacts of the pandemic on the future of work and production. It appears clear that the pandemic will lead to longer-term disruptions to labour markets, with an increased need for reskilling and an increased number of employees switching occupations.

In this session, academics and practitioners will debate the longer-run implications of the pandemic on work in the developed and developing world, further considering and identifying what the appropriate policy responses are.


Session convened by UNU-MERIT

Klaus F. ZimmermannKlaus F. Zimmermann | Chair

Klaus F. Zimmermann is President of the Global Labor Organization; Co-Director of POP at UNU-MERIT; Emeritus Professor, Bonn University; Honorary Professor, Maastricht University, Free University of Berlin, Lixin University and Renmin University of China; Member, German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Regional Science Academy, and Academia Europaea, the European Academy of Sciences. Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Population Economics. Research Fellow, Centre for Economic Policy Research and Fellow of the European Economic Association.

Aurelio ParisottoAurelio Parisotto | Presenter

Aurelio Parisotto is Head, Employment and Economic Analyses Unit, at the Employment Policy Department of the ILO. He also represents the ILO at the G20 Framework Working Group. His current interests are the economic and social implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, policies for economic and employment recovery, structural transformation and inclusive growth and development. His research work been published by the ILO, OECD, UNCTAD, the World Bank and commercial publishers.

Sangeeta Khorana | Presenter

Sangeeta Khorana is Professor of Economics at Bournemouth University. She leads research on international trade policy, in particular on free trade agreement negotiations and WTO issues. She has undertaken funded research for the UK Economic and Social Research Council, Welsh Assembly, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, European Commission, DG Trade, Commonwealth Secretariat, InterAmerican Development Bank, World Bank-ITCILO, UNCTAD-India and the Swiss Federal Government among others.

Francois Lafond | Presenter

François Lafond is a Senior Research Officer at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, at the Oxford Martin School Programme on Technological and Economic Change, at the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment, and an associate member of Nuffield college. His main areas of research are in the economics of innovation, environmental economics, networks and complex systems, applied econometrics and forecasting.

Nobuya HaraguchiNobuya Haraguchi | Presenter

Nobuya Haraguchi is Chief of Research and Industrial Policy Advice Division of UNIDO in Vienna. He leads UNIDO’s research and industrial policy work. Recent publications include articles in journals, such as Structural Change and Economic Dynamics (2019 best paper award), World Development (2017), and chapter contributions to key reference books, such as Efficiency, Finance and Varieties of Industrial Policy (2016) and Handbook of Industry and Development (2016).