The Covid pandemic resulted in dramatic changes to our working lives. The lockdowns forced many out of employment, requiring governments to respond with innovative support mechanisms to alleviate hardship and limit the increase to long-term unemployment. But, even as most work places closed, a large share of the population continued to work from home, with many discovering that they could operate just as effectively online as they did from the office.
With Covid-related restrictions now easing, which of these innovations are likely to persist? Having worked effectively from our homes, will we ever fully return to the office? What are the implications of online working for long-term productivity and growth? Are there any lessons from the Furlough Scheme for the structure of benefits payments? And how should fiscal policy respond to the structural changes in the labour market?
To address these and other questions, we will be joined by two eminent economists, Professor Nick Bloom (Stanford University) and Professor Paul Johnson (Institute of Fiscal Studies). The event will be chaired by Amanda Rowlatt, SPE Councillor and Chief Analyst at the Department for Transport.
Nick Bloom is a Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He has been researching working from home for almost 20 years. He has been heavily involved with policy, including meeting President Obama, and speaking in the 2014 Working Families Summit. He gave a 2017 TedX talk on working from home, has consulted with 100s of CEOs and managers, and has been covered extensively in national and international media.
Paul Johnson has been Director of the IFS since January 2011. He is also currently visiting professor in the Department of Economics at University College London. Paul has worked and published extensively on the economics of public policy, with a particular focus on income distribution, public finances, pensions, tax, social security, education and climate change. He was awarded a CBE for services to the social sciences and economics in 2018. As well as a previous period of work at the IFS his career has included spells at HM Treasury, the Department for Education and the FSA. Between 2004 and 2007 he was deputy head of the Government Economic Service. Paul is currently also a member of the committee on climate change and the Banking Standards Board. He was an editor of the Mirrlees Review of the UK tax system.
This live webinar will be delivered via Zoom and starts at 5pm on Monday 29 November.
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