Économie, emploi

Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)

Revue

Économie, emploi - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Climate Objectives and Development: Promoting Convergence between Millennium and Climate Goals in Climate Negotiations

The next Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will be held in France in late 2015. The aim of the gathering will be to arrive at an international agreement to keep global warming below an upper limit of 2 °C (above 1990 levels) by the end of the century. As the COPs of recent years have shown, this is an ambitious goal and many obstacles stand in its way, among them the development of emerging and developing nations. Why should these countries be forced to restrict their economic development when “liability for climate change” rests mainly with the developed nations?

The question is entirely legitimate, which is why it would probably be more constructive, as Sandrine Mathy advocates here, to negotiate in a way that combines thinking on Millennium Development Goals with climate objectives. As this article shows, it is entirely possible to combine these two types of aim and promote economic development and poverty reduction while, at the same time, striving to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Mathy shows what the common factors are and frames concrete recommendations for establishing a mechanism to promote this convergence between poverty reduction and climate preservation.

Revue

Économie, emploi

Beyond Bitcoin: What Are the Prospects for Virtual Currencies?

Currencies complementary to what is officially legal tender have existed for a long time. Local currencies and, indeed, some local exchange trading systems (LETS) figure among such currencies, making it possible to offset some negative effects of official currencies and meet specific local needs. Nevertheless, the increasing use of ICT, in particular widespread Internet use, has opened up new possibilities for the expansion of complementary currencies and these have effectively gone virtual and become accessible to a large number of potential users. In light of this particular context and developments in recent years (particularly with regard to one of the most emblematic of virtual currencies, namely Bitcoin), what are the future prospects for virtual currencies in general?

In a foresight analysis published by the Futuribles International association, Cécile Désaunay has looked into this question and, in this article, presents the main lessons to be learned. After outlining the main forms of virtual currency that exist today, the aims they serve (which may be political, ethical, environmental etc.) and the motivations of their users, she shows how these currencies are being dealt with in the economic sphere (by major corporations, particularly in the digital sector) and the public sphere (mainly by financial institutions and states). Désaunay goes on to examine the perspectives opened up by the development of virtual currencies and to sketch out a number of scenarios for their potential future development.

Revue

Économie, emploi - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

What Form of Climate Justice? A Challenge to the Idea of Emissions Rights and Permits

With the next Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) coming up in Paris in late 2015, it is probably a good time to examine the philosophical foundations underpinning discussions on the –largely economic– mechanisms likely to modify the behaviour of the main greenhouse-gas emitters. That is, at any rate, the aim of this article by Frédéric-Paul Piguet on the notion of “climate justice”, which questions the pertinence of emissions rights and permits, and examines how the limits of the biosphere should be respected, on the basis of the principle of not doing harm to others.

After reminding us of the principles of distributive justice as this applies in the environmental field, Piguet demonstrates the inability of that theory to confront the biosphere for what it is: namely, the fundamental precondition for humanity’s common good, which must be respected in a way that transcends the generations, its equilibrium taking precedence over all other considerations, including the economic. Applying this conception, the limits of the biosphere must not be evaluated in terms of a “sociologized” judgment, as is the case at the moment, but an “ecologized” one, “recognizing the part of the biosphere that isn’t available for humanity’s use and mustn’t be touched.” Hence the impossibility of distributing emissions rights for the levels that infringe on this untouchable part, and the inadequacy of theories of distributive justice in this regard. Stressing the fact that the capacities of the biosphere cannot be treated as extendable “spoils” to be shared out, he sees the prohibition on doing harm as the principle that can set the biosphere in its rightful place as the fundamental precondition for the common good. Consequently, high levels of emissions can only be granted a “transitory tolerance” that underscores their lack of legitimacy.

Revue

Économie, emploi - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Chance, Disorder and Money: Thoughts Prompted by the Dynamics of Living Systems

In the current context of climate change and the exhaustion of resources, the question of humanity’s survival returns to the agenda with some regularity (cf. Jared Diamond, Joseph Tainter, André Lebeau etc). Futuribles has reflected this concern on several occasions (including in the last issue –no. 404– with Pierre Bonnaure raising the question of the long-term prospects for our civilization). On this occasion, it is by way of a long-run analysis, taking account of the dynamics of living (plant, animal and human) systems, that Thierry Gaudin approaches the subject.

The author focuses here on the estimation of the probability that an event will occur and, hence, on the virtues and limitations of forecasting exercises. He reminds us that living systems naturally evolve by a logic that is neither totally subject to chance nor entirely deterministic, but half-way between order and disorder. He stresses, for example, the part played by surprise and emotion, and also their influence on our representations of the world (Nassim Taleb’s “black swans”) and shows that the propensity of living systems to reorganize when stimulated by unexpected information is crucial to their staying alive, but that this inevitably restricts our forecasting capacities.

Having stressed the usefulness of a degree of disorder that is essential to life, Thierry Gaudin demonstrates the extent to which the multiple crises afflicting our planet over more than half a century show up the limits of a system whose mechanisms are hobbled by a model of governance dictated by a single monetary logic. Drawing a parallel with the situation that prevailed in Europe in the late Middle Ages, he concludes that such a structure is currently reaching a limit-point beyond which collapse and decline seem inevitable, unless common goods are put back at the heart of our institutions and we diversify monetary creation.

Revue

Économie, emploi

The 21st Century an Asian Century

At the very beginning of the economic crisis of 2008, Jean-Raphaël Chaponnière wrote in these pages that economic developments, combined with demographic trends, presaged a –probably sustained– shift of the world economy’s centre of gravity towards Asia (no. 347). Seven years later, with the crisis still ongoing in most of the major industrialized countries, this shift towards Asia is now virtually beyond dispute. The 21st century will probably be an Asian century, as is borne out by Chaponnière and Lautier’s article.

After recalling the demographic prospects for Eastern and South Asia, the authors stress the influence of ageing on Chinese economic growth and the uncertainties over the economic impacts of demographic transition in South-East Asia. They then offer an analysis of regional economic prospects within a global context, with a possible Chinese crisis in the short term (though with limited consequences for the rest of the world) and uncertainties in the medium term (the “medium income trap”, risks associated with changes in the agricultural sector, the structure of the Asian economies etc.), both of these as consequences of a potential “secular stagnation”. Yet, even if it slows, the economic growth of emergent Asia, based more on consumption and services, is set to remain higher than that of the advanced countries up to 2050, and the Asian continent should remain at the heart of the world economy. While not ruling out the danger of geopolitical upheavals, Chaponnière and Lautier draw attention to the future challenges facing Asia as a result of the effects of economic and demographic growth on the environment and of the tensions inherent in the social inequalities that have developed there.

Bibliography

Économie, emploi

The Future of Money

La numérisation de la monnaie est une réalité depuis des décennies, notamment dans les pays développés. Pourtant, 85 % des transactions effectuées par les consommateurs dans le monde le sont avec des billets et des pièces. Les paiements dématérialisés sont néanmoins majoritaires dans certains pays comme les Pays-Bas, les États-Unis et Singapour. Et ils pourraient encore se développer avec l’arrivée de nouvelles technologies comme le paiement sur mobile (m-paiement), les paiements entre particuliers, les monnaies virtuelles… Ce rapport compile des ...

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Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Société, modes de vie

What will the UK Collaborative Economy Look Like in 2025 ?

Le Nesta est un centre britannique indépendant qui cherche à promouvoir l’innovation en Grande-Bretagne et en Europe. Dans ce rapport, il s’intéresse à l’avenir de l’économie collaborative, un modèle reposant sur le partage et la mutualisation (de biens, de services, de connaissances…) entre les individus. Six scénarios d’évolution sont imaginés à l’horizon 2025. 1) L’essor du micro-entrepreneur Un nombre croissant d’individus choisissent de vendre leur temps et leurs compétences sur des plates-formes ...

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Bibliography

Économie, emploi

Libérez l’emploi

Ce livre de Michel Godet, paru récemment dans une deuxième édition de poche chez Odile Jacob, actualise l’édition de janvier 2014. Le constat rigoureux que fait l’auteur, appuyé sur les données statistiques de l’INSEE (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques) et d’Eurostat, n’a pas changé : l’économie française reste en panne de croissance, l’emploi continue de baisser et le chômage de s’aggraver, les déficits publics ne se résorbent pas malgré ...

(755 more words)

Bibliography

Économie, emploi

Ma France de 2025

Parmi les livres récents qui analysent l’état de la France et scrutent son avenir, celui de François Essig tranche par son parti pris original. À travers l’évocation de 21 événements imaginaires égrenés au long de l’année 2025, ce « journal d’espoir » trace les contours d’une France apaisée qui a dépassé ses blocages et repris la route de la croissance et de l’optimisme. « La campagne présidentielle de 2012 m’avait rendu furieux, écrit-il au début de ...

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Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Géopolitique

La Chine banquier du monde

Avec des réserves supérieures au produit intérieur brut (PIB) de l’Allemagne, la Chine — qui manie souvent la politique du chéquier — est perçue comme le banquier du monde. Ainsi dans le contexte de la crise économique de 2008, les chefs d’État européens avaient évoqué sa participation à un fonds de soutien ; la Chine a préféré prendre des gages en rachetant le port de conteneurs du Pirée. Dans son dernier ouvrage, Claude Meyer, enseignant à l’Institut d’études politiques ...

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Note de veille

Économie, emploi - Géopolitique

Hausse des salaires en Asie : moteurs et conséquences

Depuis 2005, les salaires ruraux connaissent dans les pays d’Asie une hausse accélérée. Une étude publiée par The Overseas Development Institute (ODI), think-tank britannique indépendant spécialisé dans les questions humanitaires et de développement, analyse les implications de ce phénomène. Évolution du salaire rural journalier (en dollars US constants de 2010, PPA) dans quatre pays d’AsieSource : ODI. Depuis le début des années 2000, la hausse des salaires ruraux est un phénomène avéré au Bangladesh, en Chine ou encore ...

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Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Entreprises, travail

La Boulodiversité

Voir l’article consacré à cet ouvrage dans Futuribles, n° 404, janvier-février 2015.

Revue

Économie, emploi - Entreprises, travail

Working Differently: On Françoise Frisch’s Book “La Boulodiversité“

In a France that has seen recurring economic crises for almost 40 years and where unemployment figures for the working population are stuck at around the 10% mark, there seems little point waiting passively for the state to provide solutions. This is, all in all, the message Françoise Frisch is trying to get across in this book which, taking account of the (technological and societal) developments in the occupational sphere, argues for a transformation of work in France. Building on an initial field study, Frisch advocates what she calls “job-o-diversity” (boulodiversité), mapping out pathways for a transition towards logics of production that are attuned to contemporary realities. André-Yves Portnoff has read the book for Futuribles and distils its lessons for us here.

Revue

Économie, emploi

The Value of Human Life in Economics

For many years France has been faced with a national debt that compels it now –and, no doubt, for a long time to come– to tighten its budget and control its spending as much as possible. In this context of long-term scarcity of budgetary resources, various economic and statistical instruments will have to be deployed to produce a rationalization of public expenditure. Among these, the technique that apportions a statistical value to human life could be used more systematically in the evaluation of public policy, ahead of actual decision-making. This Value of a Statistical Life (VSL) should not be understood as the value conferred on a particular human life, but as the amount the community is prepared to allocate to reduce a risk of death.

Nicolas Treich reminds us of this in this article, which aims to explicate the concept of the value of life in economics, to show how it is calculated and assessed empirically, and also what its role is (particularly in the Anglo-Saxon countries) in public decision-making. The point is that the VSL enables the impact of expenditure, regulation or investment on the risk of death to be evaluated, and thus enables trade-offs to be made. Clearly, these trade-offs are made at community level and still raise a number of questions (which the author reminds us of), particularly where fairness is concerned. Yet, given the budgetary constraints mentioned above, in an increasing number of political decisions, VSL will probably be incorporated into the decision-support criteria. Hence the need for a clear understanding of how it is arrived at and how this tool can be combined with other risk-management approaches and instruments.

Futurs d'antan

Économie, emploi

Cost and Value of Human Life According to Alfred Sauvy (1977)

As Nicolas Treich shows in his article on the value of a human life in economics in this issue, in a context of the rationalization of budget decisions, the evaluation of public policies might draw more frequently on the statistical value of human life to inform analyses before political decisions are taken. This economic tool is part of the classical arsenal of cost-benefit analysis in the Anglo-Saxon world. Though used less systematically in France, the idea of attributing a value to human life is not entirely new there. As Alain Parant shows, looking back at analyses published almost 40 years ago by the French economist and demographer Alfred Sauvy, it is relatively easy to determine the cost of a human life and to assess the opportunity embodied in it or its “profitability” at different points in the age cycle (depending on whether we are in a stationary or a growing economy). And, though it is more difficult or less “politically correct” to determine its value, Sauvy argues that that value does have a de facto existence in the form of the socio-economic treatment applied to people at different times of their lives, but that this is not always based on sound assessment criteria.

Note de veille

Économie, emploi - Géopolitique

China, a Major Financial Player

In Brazil, 15 July 2014, the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) decided to create a development bank with a capital of US$ 50 billion, each country bringing 10 billion. The inaugural Chairman of the Board of directors will come from Brazil and the headquarters will be located in Shanghai. All countries, especially developing countries, are invited to join this initiative, but in all cases the BRICS will hold a 55% stake. Along with the creation of ...

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Note de veille

Économie, emploi - Géopolitique

L’Asie, moins triomphante contre la pauvreté ?

Les succès de la lutte contre la pauvreté dans la région Asie-Pacifique ont-ils été surestimés ? La question fait l’objet d’un dossier spécial dans l’édition 2014 des Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific, le recueil statistique annuel publié par la Banque asiatique de développement (BASD), qui met à jour les indicateurs économiques, financiers, sociaux et environnementaux relatifs aux 48 pays membres de la BASD. Il en ressort que le seuil de pauvreté de référence établi par la ...

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Document étude

Économie, emploi - Société, modes de vie

Les inégalités budgétaires entre les ménages toujours en hausse

L’INSEE a récemment publié les principaux résultats de son enquête « Budget de famille », réalisée tous les cinq ans depuis 1979 afin d’étudier les ressources et les dépenses des ménages. Les résultats de cette nouvelle vague portent sur l’année 2011 et confirment que les inégalités se creusent entre les différentes catégories de ménages, notamment pour les trois postes principaux que sont l’alimentation, le logement et le transport.

Revue

Économie, emploi - Société, modes de vie

The End of Capitalism? Towards a Zero Marginal Cost Society

Jeremy Rifkin is highly regarded for his ability to identify emergent world trends, as can be seen in his previous writings (from The End of Work to The Third Industrial Revolution, with books on the rise of the biotechnologies and the “hydrogen economy” along the way). He was in Paris this September to promote his latest book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society. Hugues de Jouvenel and Marguerite Grandjean met up with him and present here the highlights of that interview, in which Rifkin explains that the age of full-on capitalism is drawing to a close. The fact is that producing at virtually zero marginal cost –as is most often the case in the Internet economy– totally rewrites the principles on which capitalism has been based for decades. As a result, a new paradigm is emerging, says Rifkin, a paradigm linked to the rise of the Internet of things, which makes possible the development of a collaborative, networked economy, producing common goods (“the collaborative commons” referred to in his most recent work). This article presents the main characteristics of this new paradigm which, as Rifkin argues, already exists in embryo today, prefiguring the world of tomorrow.

Revue

Économie, emploi - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Quasi-Circular Growth: A Pragmatic Approach to the Sustainable Management of Non-Renewable Material Resources

Still within the context of this special issue that builds upon the study undertaken by Futuribles International in 2013-14 entitled “Producing and Consuming in the Era of Ecological Transition”, François Grosse outlines what he sees as the most practical approach for shifting our societies towards “quasi-circular growth”. Conscious that the option of zero or negative growth is a utopian solution, he proposes a sustainable management of non-renewable material resources aimed at optimizing the consumption cycle of such resources within a growth economy.

After briefly reminding us of the consumerist context we live in, Grosse describes the main characteristics of the stocks and flows of non-renewable raw materials in the economy –their rate of growth, their residence time in the economy, the effect of stocks and flows of waste materials and the potential role played by recycling. He goes on to demonstrate the conditions under which we could implement a quasi-circular growth model, ensuring the sustainable management of non-renewable raw materials. This would involve low levels of growth in the production/consumption of each material, with at least 80% of the quantities of each material consumed entering the waste cycle, and more than 60%, if not indeed 80% of this waste effectively being recycled. This is a systemic vision that would enable us to retain a form of economic growth, while taking account of the limits of our ecosystem and the finite nature of resources.

Bibliography

Économie, emploi - Société, modes de vie

The Zero Marginal Cost Society : The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

Le capitalisme va disparaître. Ce n’est pas le propos d’un altermondialiste virulent mais celui de Jeremy Rifkin dans son dernier ouvrage, paru au printemps aux États-Unis et en France cet automne : The Zero Marginal Cost Society (ZMCS). Et le plus extravagant dans cette assertion, ce n’est pas le résultat mais sa cause : le capitalisme va disparaître par excès d’efficacité. Son horizon ultime, via l’augmentation incessante de la productivité, est la réduction des coûts marginaux de ...

(908 more words)

Note de veille

Économie, emploi - Société, modes de vie

Classe moyenne et situation économique brésiliennes

Le Brésil, comptant parmi les pays émergents, est maintenant présenté, à raison, comme une nation de classes moyennes. Mais de quoi parle-t-on en termes de données ? Quelles sont les conséquences, dans un pays qui demeure très inégalitaire, de l’affirmation de ces catégories centrales de la population ? Après la période de contre-performances et d’hyperinflation qui a accompagné sa transition vers la démocratie, le Brésil a connu une période d’effervescence, une certaine capacité de résilience face à la crise ...

(930 more words)

Analyse prospective

Économie, emploi

Les monnaies virtuelles au-delà du bitcoin : quelles perspectives ?

Les monnaies complémentaires ou alternatives ne sont pas nouvelles, au contraire, elles ont toujours existé. Il s’agit de monnaies qui ne sont pas soutenues par un gouvernement national, mais émises et utilisées par des territoires, des organisations, des citoyens… Elles suscitent un regain d’intérêt depuis quelques années, pour répondre à des besoins que certains estiment non satisfaits par les monnaies officielles. Il peut s’agir notamment de monnaies locales visant à redynamiser l’économie d’un territoire [1 ...

(461 more words)

Actualité du futur

Économie, emploi - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Les robots, destructeurs d’emploi en 2025 : des experts mitigés…

« Pensez-vous que la robotique créera plus d’emplois qu’elle n’en détruira à l’horizon 2025 ? », c’est la question qu’a posé le Pew Research Center à près de 1 900 experts américains dans le cadre de la célébration du 25e anniversaire de la création du Net. Depuis quelques années, les débats au sujet de l’impact de la robotisation sur l’emploi est omniprésent chez les experts américains, et les progrès réalisés en termes d’intelligence artificielle ...

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Revue

Économie, emploi

The Distribution of Wealth. On Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century was first published in France in late 2013. However, it was not until spring of 2014, after the success of the English-language edition in the USA, that it came to prominence in the French media —though not without sparking controversy among Gallic commentators and economists. This substantial tome of almost a thousand pages, replete with statistical data ranging over long stretches of time, is a continuation of Piketty’s earlier work on high incomes in France (the book which largely made his reputation), but focussed in this instance on historic international trends with regard to income from capital.

Geneviève Schméder has read the book for Futuribles and outlines some of its major lessons for us here, beginning with its central finding that the distribution of wealth increasingly favours the owners of capital (income from capital is increasing more and quicker than income from work) and, among those who own capital, it is the tiny minority of the “ultra-rich” who have seen their wealth grow the most. In this situation, inequality is increasing and it is hard to see how the trend toward concentration of wealth at the top of the pyramid can be reversed. As Geneviève Schméder points out, above and beyond his economic analysis Thomas Piketty asks two fundamental political questions. What are the dangers for democracy of wealth being monopolized in this way? And at what levels of inequality will citizens feel moved to rebel?

Chapitre Economie, emploi

Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.