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Papers

Economic Analysis Jul 16, 2020

The Nature of Work after the COVID Crisis: Too Few Low-Wage Jobs

David Autor and Elisabeth Reynolds ask whether the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the conventional wisdom about automation and inequality in the United States over the past four decades. They make four projections about a rapidly automating post-COVID-19 economy: increasing telework, city de-densification, large-firm consolidation, and forced automation, all of which have significant, negative consequences for low wage workers and economic inequality. 

Economic Analysis Jul 16, 2020

The Initial Impact of COVID-19 on Labor Market Outcomes Across Groups and the Potential for Permanent Scarring

The economic damages of the COVID-19 pandemic are not being well captured by current labor market statistics that show both permanent damage to employment relationships and labor force attachment as well as a surge of workers who have experienced a temporary loss of work and income. In this essay, Betsey Stevenson of the University of Michigan explores the many ways the COVID-19 recession has affected the labor market, showing that the labor market effects have not been evenly borne across workers and that the scarring effects of this recession will likely lead to high long-term unemployment and weakened labor market attachment for years to come.