XIV RDB Lecture – Dani Rodrik
The Good Jobs Problem and Updating the Welfare State
April 28th, 2021, 3pm
Dani Rodrik (John F. Kennedy School of Economics, Harvard University)
The malleability of capitalism is its great strength. Crises of capitalism are as old as capitalism itself, yet each time, capitalism has survived, reforming itself and adapting to new challenges. The two biggest challenges capitalism faces today are climate change and social inclusion. The talk will focus on the second of these. Professor Rodrik will argue that conventional welfare state policies relying on education, training, progressive taxation, and social insurance are inadequate. He will propose a multi-pronged strategy aimed directly at the productive sphere of the economy and targeting an increase in the supply of “good jobs.” The main elements of this strategy are: (i) active labor market policies linked to employers; (ii) industrial/regional policies directly targeting the creation of good jobs; (iii) innovation policies that incentivize labor-friendly technologies; (iv) international economic policies that facilitate the maintenance of high domestic labor/social standards. These elements are connected both by their objective – expanding the number of good jobs – and by a new approach to regulation that is collaborative and iterative rather than top-down and prescriptive.
Introduction by Catherine Eunice De Vries (Bocconi University)
Discussion by Gianmarco Ottaviano (Bocconi University)
Dani Rodrik is an economist whose research revolves around globalization, economic growth and development, and political economy. His current work focuses on how to create more inclusive economies, in developed and developing societies.
Rodrik is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is currently President-Elect of the International Economic Association, and co-director of Economics for Inclusive Prosperity. His newest book is Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy (2017).