XI New Paradigm Workshop: The Return of Good Jobs in Times of War and Inflation
The next workshop is about "Good Jobs". With Dani Rodrik, Jörg Kukies, Jutta Allmendinger, Anton Korinek, Jens Südekum and many more.
PUBLISHED28. SEPTEMBER 2022
READING TIME6 MIN
XI New Paradigm Workshop
The President has made good, middle-class jobs – with equity and access for all – the heart of his economic agenda. The Good Jobs Initiative is an effort, led by the Department of Labor, to make sure we deliver on that goal in everything we do.
The fact that work means more to many people than just a job to earn a living is rather uncontroversial beyond neo-classical labour market models in which working time is always associated with disutility. Work creates social participation, can be fulfilling, and for some it is even the basis of all human progress¹.
But these positive characteristics do not apply to every form of work. In Germany, the low-wage sector grew strongly between 1995 and 2008, and has since stagnated at around a quarter of all employment relationships. Together with low wage mobility, this has resulted in a kind of low-wage trap for many. The minimum wage and the pre-pandemic upswing have caused real wages to rise and unemployment to fall to record lows. However, as David Blanchflower explains in his book Not Working: Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone?, the underemployed – all those who cannot find full-time work at a decent wage – do not even appear in the unemployment statistics. Although the book is about the American labour market, there is also evidence for Germany that involuntary short-time or part-time work is a relevant problem, especially at low wages.
What is needed then are Good Jobs. After decades of booming badly rewarded jobs in the US and Germany, Joe Biden and the traffic light coalition have made it their top priority to restore good jobs. Was it a success story? And how can this goal be achieved in the face of major challenges such as climate change or increasing automation? These and many other questions around the topic of Good Jobs will be discussed at the XI New Paradigm Workshop in early October.
One year after Olaf Scholz took office and shortly before the mid-terms in the USA, Harvard economist and pioneer of “good jobs” Dani Rodrik discusses labour market policy approaches on both sides of the Atlantic with the Chancellor’s chief economist Jörk Kukies. Are inflation, geopolitical disruptions and recession threatening to undo the successes?
Sociologist Jutta Allmendinger (WZB) presents her research on the return of good work in Germany and discusses it with Simon Jäger (IZA) and Sebastian Dullien (IMK). DGB board member Stefan Körzell will argue with renowned experts about the power and powerlessness of workers – and whether the shortage of skilled workers is reversing the roles.
The two days will also be about how much good work a climate-neutral economy promises to bring. And whether everything is not in favour of the four-day week, as is already being tested in Spain or Great Britain. The Düsseldorf economist Jens Südekum, Anton Korinek (University of Virginia), Elisabeth Reynolds (MIT) and Ana Dujić (BMAS) will discuss whether politics should not intervene more directly in the automation process and consciously promote work-saving technologies.