Covid-19: “Companies that computerize more tend to create jobs”, according to economist Philippe Aghion

The economist Philippe Aghion, eco guest of franceinfo Tuesday, October 20, 2020 (FRANCEINFO / RADIO FRANCE)

Second epidemic wave, economic crisis… is capitalism capable of reinventing itself? Can innovation erase mass unemployment? With the pandemic and the containment linked to Covid-19, “activities were forcibly suppressed”, affirms Philippe Aghion, eco guest of franceinfo on Tuesday, October 20. According to him, it is “important to preserve them. The state must both protect, especially human capital, but at the same time, there will be new activities.”

In his work The power of creative destruction, published on October 14 (Odile Jacob), the economist, professor at the Collège de France, explains that creative destruction is the process by which new innovations constantly make existing technologies and activities obsolete. It is the process by which newly created jobs continually replace existing jobs.

Philippe Aghion calls for pragmatic action by the State. “There are activities that existed and that must be supported because they are deeply good; others will turn out to be less important because habits will change after Covid-19, and then there will be reindustrialisation with new activities that must be encouraged “, he assures.

Philippe Aghion shows it in his book using graphics and academic work. According to him, “Firms that automate, of course substitute labor for capital, but they become more productive and cover a larger market. And since they cover a larger market, they create jobs. Firms that computerize more tend to create jobs. . “

According to the economist, “we must move towards Danish-style flexicurity”. “The Danish system is very suitable. When you lose your job your income is protected and we help you train to bounce back. In France, we are approaching it but very slowly”, concludes this member of the Circle of economists.

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