Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
André-Yves Portnoff argues here that how far societies evolve depends closely on the values they hold and their ability to change. He takes as his starting point the example of the current Italian reluctance to adopt modern medical techniques such as the use of peridurals in childbirth, and recalls that the Roman Empire declined because of a "cultural and mental block". Drawing on various scientific and historical studies, he shows how the Empire "condemned itself" by clinging to "regressive" values, especially the preference for relying on a cheap and abundant labour force (slavery), rather than on innovation and investments in intangible resources as a basis for technical progress that might have allowed the Romans to start an industrial revolution well ahead of time.
By above all holding onto the status quo (preserving their leading position which they thought was at its height), the Romans forgot an important principle: it is impossible to make progress or to survive for long if one cannot imagine a better future. This is even more true if one does not mobilize the intelligence of everyone to do so...
Le secteur des carrières et matériaux de la construction qui compte, au total, 70 000 salariés, est particulièrement confronté à un vieillissement de ses effectifs et à des difficultés de recrutement. Il s'interroge actuellement sur la façon de faire face à ses besoins en renouvellement de main-d'oeuvre. Pour répondre à cette interrogation, le CEREQ (Centre d'études et de recherches sur les qualifications) a mis en oeuvre une approche prospective en trois étapes dans ce secteur. Elle consiste ...
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Cette quatrième édition des Perspectives économiques en Afrique offre un panorama approfondi et comparatif de l'évolution économique, politique et sociale de 29 pays africains. Les pays sélectionnés réunissent 85 % de la population africaine et 90 % du revenu généré sur le continent. Chaque année, le rapport propose l'analyse approfondie d'une question cruciale pour le développement futur de l'Afrique. Le thème central de l'édition de 2005 porte sur le rôle des petites et moyennes entreprises, et l ...
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Ce numéro spécial de la revue Development s'ouvre sur un entretien avec Kees van Heijden et Napier Collyns, deux pionniers de la méthode des scénarios du groupe Royal Dutch Shell, qui relatent le moment où le monde a cessé d'apparaître comme contrôlable et prévisible, et où ils se sont aperçus que la planification stratégique ne pouvait plus reposer uniquement sur des projections économiques. Francisco Sagasti retrace ensuite l'histoire de la diffusion de la pensée prospective en Amérique ...
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Il y a deux manières d'appréhender l'évolution à moyen et à long terme des économies française et européenne : l'une à l'aune des indicateurs économiques classiques (l'évolution du PIB, de la productivité, de la spécialisation productive, des forces et faiblesses respectives des différentes économies...) ; l'autre au travers des transformations structurelles qui caractérisent les économies modernes et de la capacité de nos propres économies à "prendre le virage" nécessaire pour relever le défi de la compétitivité ...
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Depuis 20 ans, la France vit avec un chômage important (autour de 10 % de la population active) et, plus inquiétant encore, un sous-emploi endémique. Pourtant, périodiquement - et surtout lors des périodes de reprise de l'activité économique - le thème des pénuries de main-d'oeuvre revient sur le devant de la scène. Les évolutions démographiques, avec le départ à la retraite des générations du baby boom et la baisse attendue de la population active à partir de 2007, réactivent ces craintes ...
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Le poids économique de l'Europe et son processus de construction politique lui permettent encore aujourd'hui d'exercer une certaine influence dans un monde dominé par la puissance militaro-économique américaine. Mais en sera-t-il toujours de même demain, si le centre de gravité de l'économie mondiale se déplace, comme il semble le faire, vers l'Asie ? Quelle sera alors la spécialisation économique des pays européens et quelle place tiendront les pays actuellement "émergents" dans l'économie et le commerce ...
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The Direction de l'évaluation et de la prospective (DEP) of the French Ministry of Education, which drew attention in 2001 to the risk of a shortfall in graduates from higher education, has just revised its forecasts, with the help of the Bureau d'informations et de prévisions économiques (BIPE).
The earlier evaluation assumed an average economic growth rate of 3% per year from now until 2015. Given the present lower expected growth rate, the DEP has revised its calculations and, according to a variety of macroeconomic scenarios, provides new forecasts for the total demand for young graduates up to 2015, then broken down by professional categories and level of qualification.
The scenarios are based on hypotheses as to the rate of economic growth (1.5% or 2% per year), the degree of upward mobility of those in jobs, the balance of hiring by firms from young graduates straight from education as against from the pool of unemployed, and lastly the level of qualification required of young graduates according to the type of jobs on offer.
The results show, on average, far fewer young people being hired between 2002 and 2015 than the numbers expected to graduate from higher education, and this is true regardless of the combination of assumptions.
The worst of the mismatch between supply and demand will affect the least well qualified, who will probably have considerable problems in finding jobs. This exercise has thus reached a very different conclusion from the earlier one (in 2001), which forecast a shortfall of graduates between now and 2010.
At the meeting of the European Council in Lisbon in March 2000, the European Union set itself the goal of becoming by 2010 "the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world". As readers of Futuribles have seen on several occasions, despite this intention, Europe is falling further and further behind the United States in terms of both economic growth and competitiveness and investment in so-called intangibles (research, education, human resources, etc.), although these are major factors in the knowledge-based economy.
Henri Delanghe, Vincent Duchêne and Ugur Muldur confirm the growing gap between Europe and the United States, adding as well the risk of being overtaken by the emerging economic powers (China, India, Taiwan...). Basing their argument on the theory of long cycles (Kondratiev), the authors reckon that the industrialized countries are about to enter on a fifth wave of sustained and lasting economic growth, thanks to innovations arising from new information and communications technologies.
If indeed it turns out that this hypothesis of a new wave of prosperity is correct (which remains to be seen), two questions arise: can Europe speed up the arrival of this new growth cycle? And is its internal organization ready to deal with this new period of growth, in other words, has it developed an appropriate strategy designed for this new situation?
After a reminder of the key factors required for a new cycle of long-term growth to occur, the authors emphasize in essence that, despite the efforts encouraged in the framework of the Lisbon process, Europe does not possess all the prerequisites to drive forward this new growth spurt. The main obstacles are its under-investment in research and development, its failure to make full use of its human capital and the relative lack of competitiveness of its high-tech products. A change of strategy will clearly be essential if Europe is to avoid lagging behind the other industrialized countries (if not finding itself as leader of the emerging group!).
Le protectionnisme et l'interventionnisme agricoles des pays du Nord sont souvent accusés de bloquer le développement du Sud. De ce point de vue, certains organismes, dont la Banque mondiale, considèrent qu'une libéralisation pourrait avoir un effet très bénéfique. Les simulations menées au CEPII conduisent à nuancer sensiblement ce point de vue. Les données qu'elles utilisent prennent en compte les préférences commerciales et les réformes récentes des politiques agricoles. Les simulations tiennent compte aussi du fait que les ...
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Societies Facing an Ageing Population. The Challenge of Employment after 45
A year after France re-embarked on reforming pensions in order to cope with an ageing population and the large numbers of baby boomers who will retire in the next few years, it is a safe bet that nothing will be sorted out as regards the social implications of an ageing population. Indeed, as Anne-Marie Guillemard points out in this article, ageing affects every aspect of life in industrialized countries (ways of working, leisure time, life cycle, etc.), and to carry out a reform of pensions without including a section devoted to employment will not resolve the problem as a whole.
In this article, Anne-Marie Guillemard examines the key issue of employment and, in particular, how the work of older people is handled, comparing the situations in the main industrialized countries. After showing how the activity rates of workers over 45 years of age have changed over the last 30 years in these countries (basically the members of the European Union, the United States and Japan), which brings out clearly the differences in the way that work in the second half of professional life is managed, the author offers a typology of employment and social protection policies and cultural attitudes to age, and she discusses the impact of these institutional arrangements on the activity of older workers - activity which must be increased in an ageing society.
In France and, more generally, continental Europe there is a culture of early withdrawal of older workers from the labour market, which results in lower activity rates and yet does not resolve the problems of unemployment. These countries will need to undergo a real "cultural revolution" if they are to reverse this trend and adopt policies closer to those found in Scandinavia. The author reckons that in fact the Finnish "plan for employment for those over 45" could be taken as a model and would promote lifelong learning and training courses for those in work as well as encouraging older people to work. This would require an interventionist employment policy, drawn up with the agreement of all the social partners concerned, and would mean taking a long-term view of the life cycle with the aim of maintaining people's skills and employability throughout their working lives.
European countries have gradually stopped manufacturing less sophisticated goods (clothing, shoes, etc.), which are now produced instead in developing countries, especially in Asia. The latter have shot ahead: total manufacturing output in the Euro zone grew by 13% between 1991 and 2003, whereas it grew by between 50% and 450% in the developing economies of Asia and Central Europe. The countries of Western Europe are therefore seriously threatened by this growth - how are they reacting?
Patrick Artus examines four cases here: Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Spain. The first two specialize mainly in the manufacture of machinery, the other two in nothing in particular. After analysing the trade balance of each country and the structure of employment by sector, Artus argues that Germany has maintained a high level of productivity growth, by contrast with France and Spain, where productivity has declined, unlike the United Kingdom.
This reveals two contrasting approaches, Patrick Artus concludes: one favouring short-term growth (Spain) as against one where the specialization strategy allows improvements in productivity that lead to economic growth over the longer term (Germany, UK).
In 2002, per capita GDP (gross domestic product) in France and the European Union was roughly 25% below that of the United States. Per capita GDP is related to several factors: hourly productivity rates, average working hours and the employment rates. In France, hourly productivity rates are very high, but working hours and the employment rates are low.
This explanation does not hold when the facts are examined, argues Cette, since productivity in general appears to fall as working time increases, hence less is produced in the 36th hour than in the 35th, and this is even more true concerning the employment rates, especially those of young people and workers aged over 50 which are particularly low in Europe, especially in France. Gilbert Cette points up this argument with the help of a comparison between the "observed" and the "structural" hourly productivity rates, with the latter distinctly higher in the United States than in Europe and Japan.
He shows that, ultimately, the improvement in productivity in the United States and the decline in Europe is largely due to the growth and, above all, the spread of information and communications technologies. However, for this to have the greatest multiplier effect, there must be not only an appropriate level of investment but also greater flexibility in the markets for goods and labour.
This article implicitly raises an important question about the balance to be struck between productivity and numbers in work, which is a real issue for society to decide.
Although the standard of living of Europeans gradually caught up with that of the Americans in the three decades after World War II, it would appear that the trend has dipped since the 1980s. Economic growth in Europe has stagnated, whereas growth has continued in the United States, despite events such as the bursting of the high-tech bubble, and September 11th. Is the decline of Europe compared with the United States unavoidable? What are the reasons for it?
Alain Villemeur describes the different paths taken by the two major Western blocs. He disentangles the reasons normally given to explain the poor results achieved in Europe (inflation, high interest rates, less flexible markets, industrial decline...) and challenges their validity in the light of the remarkable counter-example provided by the Netherlands.
In his view, the key to economic recovery in Europe lies in the investment countries are prepared to make in innovation and knowledge, and the way that innovations are achieved and implemented. What matters most now is to give priority to innovations in products (which means investing in research aimed at developing new products and services) rather than in processes (i.e. attempting to improve or copy innovations in existing products). It is a European country, Sweden, that provides the model for this approach.
For Alain Villemeur, the only means of reversing the economic decline of Europe over the last 20 years lies in combining strong support for research and development and innovation (on the Swedish model) with close control of wage costs (as in the Netherlands), and ensuring that this strategy applies also to the new members of the European Union.
Michel Godet comments on two recent reports by the Council for Economic Analysis on productivity and employment, and on the gap between France, the rest of Europe and the United States in this regard. This leads him to offer a different explanation of the poor performance of France, which he thinks is due to the small numbers in work, the demographic decline and the excessive emphasis only on those jobs that are judged, rightly or wrongly, to be highly productive.
He stresses first the high demand for personal services, the large numbers of potential jobs in this area, and hence the need to reassess the worth of professions relating to it. He then goes on to offer a critical discussion of the analyses of productivity, emphasizing in essence that, although the hourly productivity rate in France is high, the economic results are in general poor, and this is because there are not enough people in work.
Lastly, he outlines various ways of reviving growth and employment, for instance by encouraging part-time working and replacing welfare payments that are made without any requirement to work with arrangements which would encourage more French people to stay in their jobs or return to employment.
Cet exercice de prévision réalisé par le Bureau d'informations et de prévisions économiques (BIPE) pour la Direction de l'évaluation et de la prospective du ministère français de l'Éducation établit, selon différents scénarios macroéconomiques, des prévisions de besoins en recrutement de jeunes à l'horizon 2015, besoins ensuite déclinés par niveau de diplôme. Différentes hypothèses sont introduites, portant sur le rythme de croissance économique (1,5 % ou 2 % par an) ; sur l'importance de la mobilité promotionnelle des ...
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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.