The OECD Future of Work Fellowship Scheme aims to promote new and innovative (post-)doctoral research in the fields of economics, statistics, sociology and other related social sciences which provide better evidence to help policy makers across OECD countries respond to labour issues. The fellows' work focuses on i) megatrends that are affecting labour markets and the impact that these trends have on job quantity and quality, as well as more broadly on inequality, productivity and growth; and ii) link those impacts to challenges for government in the area of social protection, skills, active labour market programs and regulation. Their work is essential in exploring innovative policy tools that can help governments address these challenges head on.
The 2019-20 Fellows
Baobao is a postdoctoral fellow in MIT’s Political Science Department, a research affiliate with the Center for the Governance of AI at the University of Oxford, and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
Research Project:Baobao’s project will use a survey experiment to investigate whether the threat of advanced automation impacts workers’ preferences toward welfare, immigration, and trade policies. The project, which will focus on workers in Germany, the UK, and France, expands upon her existing research in the US. In three pre-registered survey experiments, she found that economic forecasts of artificial intelligence’s threat to jobs increased American workers’ concern about job loss to automation. Nevertheless, the economic forecasts did not affect workers’ preferences toward welfare, immigration, and trade policies. In her proposed study, she plans to examine whether the threat of workplace automation impacts workers’ policy preferences differently across the three largest European economies.
Nikolas DawsonNik is a PhD candidate from the University of Technology Sydney researching the impacts of Artificial Intelligence on Australia’s labour market.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption rates will determine the impacts of AI on labour markets. If AI adoption accelerates, then labour tasks are more likely to be automated or augmented. Therefore, workers will need to transition between jobs and acquire new skills to meet new labour demands.
This research will develop a methodology to measure the temporal similarities between sets of skills from real-time job ads data. This will be applied for two purposes. Firstly, by creating a leading indicator of AI adoption by measuring the temporal similarities between a set of top AI skills and sets of top skills from standardised industries in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). Secondly, this research will measure the temporal similarities between standardised occupations in ANZ. This will enable the normalised ‘distance’ between occupations to be measured at the granular skills level, which identifies optimal transition paths from one occupation to another.
Website: https://bitsandatoms.co/Twitter: @bits_atoms
Mathilde is a second year PhD candidate at the Paris School of Economics and a research fellow at the World Inequality Lab. Her research focuses on the impact of public policies on individuals’ international mobility.
Mathilde’s project studies the effects of coordinated public policies that aim to enhance cross-border workers’ mobility. The project exploits the unique setting provided by the largest European mobility scheme, which exempts mobile workers from fiscal and social security rules and contributions in their destination country. The analysis will highlight the trade-offs faced by policy-makers in the design and implementation of mobility policies, by estimating their impact on workers, firms, and fiscal outcomes in different countries and different sectors. It will examine potential wage premia and profits to understand how the surplus value from increased mobility is shared between workers, government and firms. The results will be used to shed light on government incentives to coordinate or defect in mobility policies.
The 2018-19 Fellows
Juliette FournierJuliette is a third-year PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Economics.
Research project: The Rise and Fall of Cities: Geography of Sectoral Reallocation
Why don't cities whose main industries are hit by an adverse shock convert to other sectors? While growing empirical evidence shows how crucial local industry mix is to future prospects, standard theoretical models rule out the possibility of a change in the local sectoral composition by assumption.
Sara is a second-year doctoral student at the Paris School of Economics. Her main research interests revolve around the impact of technological change and of migration flows on the labor markets of industrialized countries. Prior to joining PSE, Sara worked as a research assistant for the World Bank and the International Food Policy Research Institute, where she conducted several analyses of public policies. She also earned a master’s degree in international economics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
Research project: Technological and Organizational Change and The Fall of Mobility in the 21st Century. A Tale of Four Industrialized Countries
Since the 1980s the labor markets of most industrialized countries have undergone important structural transformations. Technological change and globalization have transformed the production function of firms and have shifted their labor demand away from easily automatable occupations towards high-skill professions. While a growing number of researchers are analyzing the impacts of such shifts on the structure of the economy, few are the ones that look at how the careers of workers are affected in the long run. Sara’s work aims to fill this gap by establishing a link between the recent technological and organizational changes and the occupational mobility of employees. In particular, her analysis will investigate whether the traditional channels of career progression are permanently hindered by the recent innovations adopted by firms.
Andrew GarinAndrew Garin is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the NBER. Staring in 2019 he will be an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Research project: What Are the Causes and Consquences of the Rise of New Alternative Work Arrangements? Evidence from Tax Filings (joint with Dmitri Koustas)
Andy's work studies how institutional and technological changes in the 21st Century are transforming labor markets worldwide, and how public policy can promote economic opportunity in light of these changes. His current focus is in the rise of online platforms and other new internet-based systems that have made it radically simpler for self-employed individuals to do work for firms and peers—work that could have previously only been done in a traditional employment relationship. These changes may provide new opportunities for those on the margins of the workforce to earn income when they need it; yet, at the same time, such arrangements threaten to erode traditional stable jobs. Drawing on administrative tax returns, his work examines how expansion of the "gig" economy has impacted labor market outcomes, and the burden places on public social insurance schemes.
Website: andygarin.comTwitter: @andy_garin
The 2017-18 Fellows
Dr. Otto Kässi
Dr. Otto Kässi is a labour economist. He is currently employed in the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford where he studies various forms of online work. Prior to joining the OII, Otto earned both Master’s and Doctoral Degrees from the University of Helsinki.
Research project: Online Labor Market Signaling
There is ample evidence on information frictions in online freelancing markets. As a result of these frictions, employers have limited means for telling good and bad freelancers apart. Online labor market platforms have developed several institutions for levelling this information asymmetry. This project concentrates on a specific institution: voluntary skill certification tests which the freelancers can take to reduce employer uncertainty.
OECD Working Paper: Do Digital Skill certificates help new workers enter the market?,
Sanna is a first-year doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), University of Oxford and at the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science. Before commencing her doctoral studies, she worked as the quantitative research lead in an ERC-funded GeoNet project, which studies how new economic practices and processes are taking root in Sub-Saharan Africa as a result of changing connectivities. Before joining the OII, Sanna worked with the Digital Engagement team of the World Bank Governance Global Practice and with the Inter-American Development Bank’s Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness Unit. She earned a Master’s Degree from American University’s School of International Service (Washington, DC) in 2013. At SIS she studied international development, governance and quantitative research methods as an ASLA-Fulbright Fellow.
Research project: The Networked Nature of the Emerging Digital Economy and its Relation to Informality in Latin America
Sanna’s doctoral research investigates the relationship between accessing work through online platforms and informality, and how these practices impact inequality, social exclusion, individual well-being, and the government’s ability to collect taxes. In her research she applies a mixed methods research design analyzing big data from online labour platforms and qualitative interview data through a combination of statistical methods, network science, data science and qualitative analysis. Sanna is also very interested in the applications of big data in international development and through her research endeavours to understand what development is and should be in the era of massive data and ever-increasing computing abilities.
Zach Parolin is a doctoral researcher at the Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy at the University of Antwerp. His work focuses on the measurement and determinants of poverty and income inequality, with a particular focus on the moderating role of welfare state and labor market institutions. Zach holds an MSc in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri. Prior to joining the Centre for Social Policy, he worked at the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition in Washington, D.C., and for the Australian Baseball League in Perth, Australia.
Research project: Automation, Job Polarisation & the Moderating Role of Labor Market Institutions: What the Recent Past Portends for the ‘Future of Work’
Zach’s work focuses on the role of labour market and welfare state institutions in shaping poverty, employment, and inequality outcomes. His research on the ‘Future of Work’ investigates how the effects of automation on job displacement and occupational employment shares may vary across political-institutional contexts. Specifically, he will explore how labor market institutions – such as collective bargaining agreements, employment protection legislation, and union representation – moderate the extent of automation-induced job displacement and polarisation among OECD Member States.
Future of Work fellowship paper by Zach Parolin: Automation and occupational wage trends -