3.11.2014 Seminar: Technological Change and Inequality

The seminar explores the effects of technological development and robotisation on employment and inequality.

Will today´s occupational change transform affluent countries into enlarged middle-class societies? Or will the future consist of increasingly divided class societies? What are the effects of technology on the distribution of income? Is public procurement a substantial tool for prompting innovation? What would be the benefits of a shorter working week?

These and other topics will be discussed by Professor Gilles Saint-Paul (Paris School of Economics), Associate Professor Daniel Oesch (University of Lausanne), Head of Social Policy Anna Coote (New Economics Foundation) and Professor Rainer Kattel (Tallinn University of Technology).

Organized by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) with the support of Kalevi Sorsa Foundation.


Time: Monday 3 November 2014 from 9am to 4pm
Place: Paasitorni, Paasivuorenkatu 5 A, 00530 Helsinki


09.00 Coffee and registration

09.30 Opening
Mikko Majander
, Director, Kalevi Sorsa Foundation;
Charlotte Billingham, Executive Advisor, Foundation for European Progressive Studies

09.45 Occupational Change in Europe (PDF)
Daniel Oesch, Associate Professor, University of Lausanne

10.15 Technical Change and Inequality – a view towards the future (PDF)
Gilles Saint-Paul, Professor, Paris School of Economics

10.45 Comment (PDF)
Rita Asplund, Research Director,
Research Institute of the Finnish Economy

11.30 Lunch break (at own expense)


12.30 The State and High Tech&Quality Jobs (PDF)
Rainer Kattel, Tallinn University of Technology

13.00 Why we need a shorter working week (PDF)
Anna Coote, Head of Social Policy, New Economics Foundation

13.30 Comment
Tarja Filatov, Member of Parliament

14.15 Coffee Break


14.45 Panel debate with Special Adviser Jenni Karjalainen (Ministry of Employment and the Economy), Director Tero Lausala (Association for Finnish Work) and Professor Laura Kolbe (University of Helsinki). Moderated by Project researcher Antti Alaja (Kalevi Sorsa Foundation).

15.45 Closing remarks


Daniel Oesch is an Associate Professor at the University of Lausanne. His research includes labour market analysis and studies on industrial relations, social inequality and class voting. His most recent publications include his book Occupational Change in Europe. How Technology and Education Transform the Job Structure (Oxford University Press, 2013), and numerous peer-reviewed articles on labour market issues. In his book Oesch examines recent changes in employment structures, their underlying forces such as technology, migration and globalization, and their effects on government policy.

Gilles Saint-Paul is a Professor at the Paris School of Economics, on leave from the Toulouse School of Economics. Saint-Paul is also Global University Professor at New York University Abu Dhabi, a research fellow of CEPR, IZA and CES-Ifo and a former member of the Conseil d´Analyse Economique. His most recent books include Frictions and Institutions (Bookboon.com, 2014), The Tyranny of Utility (Princeton University Press, 2011) and Innovation and Inequality: How Does Technological Progress Affect Workers? (Princeton University Press, 2008)

Rainer Kattel is a Professor at Tallinn University of Technology, where he holds the Chair of Innovation Policy and Technological Governance. He is also a public commentator active in newspapers and television. He serves on several national and European (EU, European Science Foundation) commissions in charge of science and research policy and funding, including the Innovation Policy Council. Kattel received the Estonian National Science Award in 2013.

Anna Coote is Head of Social Policy at the New Economics Foundation. A leading analyst in the field of social policy, Coote has written widely on issues such as sustainable development, public health policy, public involvement and democratic dialogue, gender and equality. She was responsible for influential work on health and sustainable development as Commissioner for Health with the UK Sustainable Development Commission (2000-9). Her recent publications for NEF include The Prevention Papers, The Wisdom of Prevention, The Big Society and the New Austerity and 21 Hours.

Further information:
Antti Alaja (antti.alaja@sorsafoundation.fi)
Antti Kaihovaara (antti.kaihovaara@sorsafoundation.fi)

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