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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

Embedding the Future: Tech Employers and Long-Term Unemployment in Europe

Sidney Rothstein


 
Over the last two decades, advanced capitalist democracies have embraced models for economic growth based on promoting digital technologies. While the transition to the knowledge economy has been marked by growth, it has also introduced new challenges, as countries across the OECD struggle to govern the effects of rapid technological change. This project seeks to explain why some countries develop institutions to upskill displaced workers, while others remain committed to skill-formation systems from previous eras of production. Building on the concept of “social blocs” articulated by the growth models perspective, this project investigates the political behavior of tech employers, who, given their centrality to productivity and economic growth, play an increasingly important role in policy formation. Focusing on variation in employers’ discursive strategies, and the discourse surrounding lifelong learning, provides a framework to explain the different paths of transition to the knowledge economy in Germany, Ireland, and Sweden. Electoral politics are no doubt central to twenty-first century capitalism, but employer behavior is equally important for explaining the political economy of digital transformation. Project duration: October 2018 to September 2020.
 

 
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