Public event/Seminar

[POSTPONED] Disappearing middle class (online)

Mar
10
05:00 PM - 06:00 PM

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Evaluating policy options

Please note that this event has been postponed. The new date will be published in due course. We suggest registering for updates.

The Covid-19 pandemic has kept the world on tenterhooks for some time. Not only are the direct health consequences in many countries shockingly severe, but the pandemic is also acting as a catalyst for existing threats. The polarization of the labor market and the simultaneous rise of automation have long been top of the agenda of policymakers and popular media. Covid-19 has further fueled this debate, and fears about replacing workers with robots have reignited. Many headlines prompted by the pandemic warn of a new wave of job-destroying automation. The unemployment rate in the U.S. rose to nearly 15 percent in April 2020 – the highest level since start of record after World War II. More than ever, there is a need for reliable evidence to inform policy makers. What is happening to workers, specifically middle-class ones? Should we expect robot-induced mass unemployment because of the pandemic?

Nir Jaimovich will answer these and related questions in his webinar. In a first step, he will present US labor market data, identifying the types of individuals who are likely to work in middle-class occupations and tracking how they act on the labor market outcomes. In a second step, he will compare different policies that aim at combating the labor market malaise middle-class workers have experienced.

This is a public event with free access via livestream on our website. We recommend that you register so that we can send you a reminder as well as the livestream link shortly beforehand.

This session is supported by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR).

Please note that this event has been postponed. The new date will be published in due course. We suggest registering for updates.

The Covid-19 pandemic has kept the world on tenterhooks for some time. Not only are the direct health consequences in many countries shockingly severe, but the pandemic is also acting as a catalyst for existing threats. The polarization of the labor market and the simultaneous rise of automation have long been top of the agenda of policymakers and popular media. Covid-19 has further fueled this debate, and fears about replacing workers with robots have reignited. Many headlines prompted by the pandemic warn of a new wave of job-destroying automation. The unemployment rate in the U.S. rose to nearly 15 percent in April 2020 – the highest level since start of record after World War II. More than ever, there is a need for reliable evidence to inform policy makers. What is happening to workers, specifically middle-class ones? Should we expect robot-induced mass unemployment because of the pandemic?

Nir Jaimovich is Professor of Economics, Affiliated Professor at the UBS Center and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
Nir Jaimovich is Professor of Economics, Affiliated Professor at the UBS Center and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
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Speaker

Professor of Economics, Affiliated Professor at the UBS Center

Nir Jaimovich is a macroeconomist who studies business cycles and the dynamics of the labor market. He is a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and an associate editor of the Journal of Monetary Economics and the Journal of Economic Theory. Before joining the University of Zürich, Professor Jaimovich was on the faculty at the Marshall School of Business at USC, Duke University, Stanford University, and the University of California, San Diego. He was also a Research Associate in the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Economic Fluctuations and Growth program.

Professor of Economics, Affiliated Professor at the UBS Center

Nir Jaimovich is a macroeconomist who studies business cycles and the dynamics of the labor market. He is a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and an associate editor of the Journal of Monetary Economics and the Journal of Economic Theory. Before joining the University of Zürich, Professor Jaimovich was on the faculty at the Marshall School of Business at USC, Duke University, Stanford University, and the University of California, San Diego. He was also a Research Associate in the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Economic Fluctuations and Growth program.

Topic summary

Disappearing middle class

The creeping hollowing out of the middle class and the rapidly advancing automation are central topics among policymakers, and there is certainly no shortage of dire predictions about the ascent of robots and subsequent obsolescence of workers. But – doomsday prophecies aside – what are the facts? What is happening to workers, specifically middle-class ones? And, from a policy perspective, what can (or should) be done to address this fundamental shift in who – or what – does which jobs? Nir Jaimovich’s Public Paper tackles these questions head-on. He first identifies the types of individuals who are likely to work in middle-class occupations and tracks how they act on the labor market outcomes. Then he evaluates policies proposed in recent years that have been aimed at combating the labor market malaise middle-class workers have experienced.

You can download a free copy here.

The creeping hollowing out of the middle class and the rapidly advancing automation are central topics among policymakers, and there is certainly no shortage of dire predictions about the ascent of robots and subsequent obsolescence of workers. But – doomsday prophecies aside – what are the facts? What is happening to workers, specifically middle-class ones? And, from a policy perspective, what can (or should) be done to address this fundamental shift in who – or what – does which jobs? Nir Jaimovich’s Public Paper tackles these questions head-on. He first identifies the types of individuals who are likely to work in middle-class occupations and tracks how they act on the labor market outcomes. Then he evaluates policies proposed in recent years that have been aimed at combating the labor market malaise middle-class workers have experienced.

You can download a free copy here.

webinar-jaimovich-polarization_paper
  • Will the covid-19 pandemic accelerate automation? Economist 22.4.2020 read