Christopher Pissarides: “The state should cover the delivery of self-employed delivery workers.” Economie

Christopher Pissarides at an economic forum in Shanghai, 2019.Gao Yuen / VCG / Getty Images

There is no such thing as a pandemic that has turned the global economy upside down and so much of the uses and habits we are used to putting the entire Nobel Prize in economics to the test. For the British Cypriot Christopher Pissarides (Nicosia, Cyprus, 72 years old), who won the award in 2010, along with his American colleagues Del Mortensen and Peter Diamond, for their studies on how to reconcile supply and demand for employment, the key factor in the health crisis is [falta de] Physical proximity. According to Pissarides, the fact that we have separated two meters from a year ago changes everything, from work to urban planning, who praised the reaction of the European Union and the European Central Bank to the crisis and advocated for debt cancellation with the sovereign nuances in the hands of the European supervisor, an idea sponsored by the French economist Thomas Piketty .

“Before we focus on whether the jobs can be automated, whether they are mechanical, etc. There is now a new element, which is physical proximity,” he explains through a video conference with EL PAÍS after participating in a Discussion on the future of work and employment organized by Mobile World Capital, An organization that promotes digital initiatives. This forced distance brought in massive telework or launched an e-commerce and no turning back. He predicts that “although the Coronavirus is no longer a problem, its impact on companies will be permanent.”

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Teleworking or videoconferencing will obviously remain, but Pissarides is seeing deeper changes. “The Work gig, [el empleo en plataformas de economía colaborativa como las empresas de reparto a domicilio o transporte de pasajeros] It will accelerate, ”he says.“ In times of uncertainty, it is more flexible for companies to hire freelancers to provide service than to hire full-time workers. ”Compare this phenomenon to Spanish temporary contracts, but it is more flexible.

And he does not view that flexibility lightly. Asked about the regulation the government is preparing regarding food delivery, Al-Mashour said The ridersPissarides is currently the most visible example of working in the platform, and it tackles nails. He believes that regulation is necessary, but believes that the flexibility that many distributors advocate must be preserved as it allows them to operate on more than one platform. “The problem with this flexibility is that there is no employer who provides sick leave and paid leave.” In his absence, who does that? He defends this, saying, “I think the government should do that,” as it raises money from these digital platforms to create a fund that workers can use for sick leave and vacation … “I think it can work. It’s a good way to maintain flexibility and for the worker to feel that Someone worries about the social aspects of work, “he began.

Delivery men are a sample of changes in consumption. The epidemic has brought us home and he thinks we will spend more time there. Telework, e-commerce, platforms flow… “We will return to shopping in the city center, but not as many as we used to before. Nor to cinemas, theaters and restaurants,” he notes. “They’ll do a lot of things at home,” he says, but not the housework. “If I work at home, I won’t want to start cooking or cleaning when it’s done. Then someone comes in to do it. Home service will grow as a profession in the UK [donde reside] It is already happening, the service is gaining respect and I think it should earn more. “

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The fact that you work or take purchases at home will be reflected in the urban fabric. Commercial chains will have a lot of stores – “that’s happening, commercial rental prices are going down, and there are empty spaces,” he explains – and the apparent difference that exists between commercial and residential districts in cities will change. He predicts that “if people work at home, there will be less demand for commercial space in the center and an increase in demand for services or businesses in residential areas,” although he indicated that this would depend on how proactive those responsible for town planning are. This is that Barcelona is more lean than “strict” London, which “does not allow anything to be done in residential areas”.

Pissarides praises the response of the European authorities to the epidemic crisis, especially the fact that the commission requires aid to be delivered to specific programs with an environmental or innovative tone. “They are dealing with it better than other countries, like the United States,” he says. He also praised the European Central Bank for “keeping money cheap” and for its debt purchases. It aligns, with nuances, with those who, with Piketty at the helm, are calling for the cancellation of European sovereign debt in the hands of the European Central Bank. “I think it’s a good idea. Now it’s not a problem, because interest rates are at zero. When it goes up, countries will have to pay interest, instead of using the money to invest,” he says, although he also admits saying that this money will not be returned. Not good in terms of credibility for future financial transactions. ” He jokes with another compelling reason: “I am [la deuda pública griega roza el 200% de su PIB], I must be a pro! “.

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