Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
L’Europe renonce à produire sur son sol sans des secteurs où la rentabilité est réelle mais inférieure aux exigences des actionnaires anglo-saxons. Des implantations indiennes ou asiatiques pourraient sauver emplois et potentiels industriels européens.?
With a growth rate in 2005 of 3.5%, the United States retains its global economic dominance. Yet the downsides of this economic vitality are increasingly obvious.
Since the mid 1990s the U.S. trade balance has been in deficit every year because its economic growth is fuelled more by imports than exports. The deficit currently runs to more than $2 billion per day on average. America is particularly dependant on imported cars, oil and consumer goods. The trade deficit is greatest with China, Canada and Mexico.
Charles du Granrut explains in this article that the key to understanding how the U.S. has managed to finance its growth and its trade deficit for as long as it has lies in its financial relationships with the rest of the world.
The author discusses the mechanisms that brought about the trade deficit and that can explain why it continues, despite the fall in value of the dollar and the risks that could arise from it. He goes on to present several scenarios for 2025 and the risks involved if the debt were to become unsustainable. The conclusion is that the present situation of the U.S. is both difficult to maintain in the medium term and yet useful in stimulating growth throughout the world and in redistributing global savings.
The fact that the unemployment rate in France continues to be almost 10% is a constant source of worry for the French, now even for the best qualified among them. Nevertheless, as the baby-boomers reach retirement age, major changes are forecast for the working population and for the French labour market.
In this article Alain Parant analyses changes in the French population in the past, present and future and their possible consequences for employment. Nothing can stop the ageing of the population in the next few years, he says, but it is difficult to predict what effect this will have for the population as a whole, since demographic change also depends on factors such as fertility and immigration. One thing is certain: France paradoxically has one of the highest rates of underemployment of older workers in Europe.
In the near future the rapid ageing of the French population could be accompanied by continuing high levels of unemployment and underemployment. It remains to be seen whether these phenomena will occur simultaneously or with a lag, Alain Parant explains, and that will depend in part on how the French government and French businesses react.
The American trade deficit reached 6% of the country's GDP in 2005, and it is likely to be close to 7% in 2006. Moreover, the rise in the price of oil, on which America is especially dependant, threatens to make this situation even worse. In addition, the budget deficit has also reached record levels and, according to many American analysts, it may well continue to grow at least until 2009. But as long as Americans are reluctant to save, the U.S. debt will be financed by foreign capital.
By contrast, China is managing to combine rapid economic growth with stable public finances: China runs a balance of payments surplus alongside a tiny budget deficit (1.5% in 2005). It uses its trade surpluses to build up dollar reserves and is becoming a major creditor of the United States.
In this article Philippe Delalande offers a comparison between the contrasting - yet increasingly interdependent - financial positions of these two major economies. He explains that the dual U.S. deficits (trade and budget) can be maintained because of the special status of the dollar abroad. Confidence in the dollar and in the American economy does not falter and the United States becomes ever more dependant on foreign capital, whereas the Chinese authorities have adopted the opposite policy, strictly regulating foreign investment in China and maintaining their currency, the yuan, undervalued vis-à-vis the dollar but tied to it.
The author explains that this is because the two countries' financial positions are more and more closely linked as a result of this situation and the increasing trade between them.
In this article Pierre Gandossi raises two questions that are highly relevant even if they are often considered to be disturbing: the first with regard to the effectiveness of the large number of agencies that operate in France, covering different geographical areas, charged with managing employment and reducing unemployment; the second about how the unemployed can be encouraged to take greater responsibility for themselves and to seek jobs more effectively. The writer is well placed, given his own position, to describe the situation and argue his case.
From his own direct experience of working to reduce unemployment and promote policies to help people back into the labour market, he criticizes the proliferation of agencies dealing with unemployment and, as a consequence, the poor results of all their efforts. He stresses the importance of making policies more consistent, particularly with regard to giving jobseekers more effective personal support.
He also criticizes the behaviour of some unemployed people who decline the jobs offered to them and settle down to live on benefits. It is essential to overcome this abuse of the system, for the good of individuals and also so as to ensure the survival of the welfare state. P. Gandossi argues passionately that unemployment benefits must be truly linked to genuine jobseeking.
This article reviews the results of the latest study carried out by the Bureau d'informations et de prévisions économiques (BIPE, Office of Economic Data and Forecasting) for the Department of Evaluation, Prospects and Performance (DEPP) of the French Ministry of Education. Although the DEPP uses the term "prospective", the study is essentially an exercise in macroeconomic forecasting based on a single set of hypotheses relating mainly to economic growth and productivity; from the results it derives forecasts of the total volume of employment together with a breakdown by professional categories.
The study then takes account of the numbers of baby-boomers leaving the labour market on retirement and calculates the hiring needs thus generated between now and 2015; these are then compared with the projections for numbers of school-leavers, which suggests that there will be no foreseeable overall shortage of labour, even though there may obviously be a certain mismatch between the level and nature of the qualifications obtained by school-leavers and the the hiring needs of firms and the public sector.
In short - and this is the main result of the forecasts - contrary to what used to be alleged, the large numbers of baby-boomers leaving the labour market as they retire do not give much hope of an automatic return to full employment within the next ten years, especially for young people. Oddly enough, the foreseeable mismatches appear to affect all young people, regardless of their level of qualifications, but especially those who have gone on to higher education.
India, like China, has increasingly fascinated Western economists and analysts. The country that calls itself "the world's largest democracy" looks to be one of the most promising economic powers of the 21st century.
Jean-Joseph Boillot, an expert on India, examines here the rather too common tendency to idealize its economic prospects. He makes use of scenarios to show the possible trends for this vast nation in the coming years and he emphasizes the many uncertainties facing the country, disagreeing with the idea that India will be a superpower by 2050. For both demographic and economic reasons, there is no guarantee that India will soon achieve a comparable growth to its Chinese neighbour. With the aid of forecasts and scenarios, Jean-Joseph Boillot highlights the many factors that could affect Indian growth prospects. In particular, he cites the results of a study produced by the Davos forum which concluded that India's economic development remains unclear and will depend above all on the political strategies it adopts.
La prospective des métiers est nécessaire dans un contexte de transformations du marché du travail, des organisations et de l'environnement économique, afin d'éclairer les parcours professionnels possibles des individus et d'anticiper les besoins en compétences et en renouvellement de la main-d'œuvre. Elle est au centre des préoccupations des différents acteurs de la vie économique, car la question se pose non seulement au niveau collectif (État, région, branche, entreprises), mais également au niveau individuel (formation initiale, formation ...
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Until the 16th century, people were convinced that the Earth was flat. For Thomas Friedman, a journalist on the New York Times, this myth looks as if it coming true. The flattening process is not, however, geographical but cultural and economic. Thanks to globalization - synonymous with "Americanization" - societies and individuals will inevitably become increasingly alike, as he argues in his book The World is Flat (London: Penguin Books, 2006).
Jean-Jacques Salomon explains here that the world at the beginning of the 21st century is just as round as it was 500 years ago and any uniformity is still highly superficial. He points out that Thomas Friedman's book presents just one of countless ways of perceiving the world today, and that other traditional cultures and lifestyles continue to exist alongside Western ones. Jean-Jacques Salomon argues that the author of The World is Flat is inclined to extend the spread of scientific and technological change rather too rapidly to other aspects of human life. If the world is indeed becoming flatter, the phenomenon is limited to very specific areas and probably reflects much more Friedman's ethnocentricity than what is actually happening around the world.
Depuis le début des années 1990, à travers des réformes qui ont instauré une libéralisation mesurée, l'Inde a peu à peu réussi à s'installer dans le peloton de tête des pays affichant les taux de croissance les plus élevés au monde. Cette croissance a incontestablement permis l'essor d'une classe moyenne et contribué à faire reculer la pauvreté " en chiffres relatifs ". L'Inde, constituerait-elle " le laboratoire de la mondialisation heureuse " (Jackie Assayag) ? Les succès " high tech " de ...
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Le ministère de l’Éducation nationale a mené de nombreuses prospectives emploi depuis une vingtaine d’années, souvent en collaboration avec le BIPE (Bureau d’information et de prévisions économiques). L’objectif de cette démarche pour le ministère de l’Éducation nationale est d’apprécier les besoins de l’économie en matière de recrutement de jeunes diplômés. Le ministère peut ensuite en déduire les orientations pour faire évoluer le système éducatif et permettre aux jeunes une meilleure entrée dans le ...
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The author, an expert on the study of values in France and the rest of Europe, analyses here the results for France of the International Social Survey Programme carried out in 2003, in a study of national identities. Over and above the existing philosophical and legal definitions of what constitutes French nationality, this survey makes it possible to understand the criteria used by the French in this regard - in other words, to present a sociological definition of "Frenchness".
As Pierre Bréchon emphasizes, the French are very demanding with regard to the characteristics required in order to "deserve" the label "French" - demands that they do not always meet themselves, for instance with regard to respect for order or for institutions. Their definition of what constitutes a "true French person" thus reveals a certain kind of nationalism in French society, though one that varies according to the respondents' age, level of education and whether they are practising Catholics.
The Strategies of Firms in the Global Economy. Review of the French Translation of Suzanne Berger's How We Compete
Suzanne Berger, a professor of political science at MIT, where she is head of the International Science and Technology Initiative, has recently published the results of a five-year study of 500 multinationals (in North America, Europe and Asia) carried out by her research team, looking at the ways that firms are adapting to the global economy (New York: Doubleday, 2005). Contrary to what one often hears, the opening up of the world economy is not leading to the creation of a single model of firm - far from it. It turns out that shifting production abroad simply in order to reduce wage costs is rarely a good move: as this study shows, success internationally is far more often a matter of using "classic" methods and building on national traditions and/or the culture of the parent firm.
Michel Drancourt reviews the French edition of the book (Made in monde. 500 multinationales face à la mondialisation. Paris: Le Seuil, 2006, 356 pp.). He presents the main conclusions, showing in essence that economic globalization can be an opportunity for those who know how to make good strategic use of it.
La France a une longue tradition réformatrice : des décennies de réforme ont produit de nombreux rapports et autant de "réformettes". La LOLF (Loi organique relative aux lois de finances) n'est pas le premier projet de réforme des finances publiques. Bien avant elle, la loi de Rationalisation des choix budgétaires (RCB) avait été inspirée par l'Américain McNamara. Faux espoir des années 1970, elle avait disparu sous Raymond Barre. La LOLF s'est voulue ambitieuse. Défendue auprès des deux bords ...
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Pour réagir à ce sujet volontairement provocateur, était invité Éric Le Boucher, auteur d’un ouvrage « politiquement incorrect, mais économiquement pertinent » selon Hugues de Jouvenel. Incorrect, provocateur, pertinent : autant de qualificatifs pour décrire une situation française préoccupante. Les frontières françaises ou européennes agissent comme des prismes, ou des retardateurs, sur la vision de nombreux Français sur le monde actuel. La perception française de l’économie est une image tronquée et vieille de 20 ans qui ignore le monde tel qu ...
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As we have already argued (Futuribles, n° 299, July-August 2004), whereas the standard of living of Europeans gradually caught up with that of the Americans in the three prosperous decades after the Second World War, the gap between them has widened again since then. What is the reason for the relative decline of Europe vis-à-vis the United States and for the varied showing from country to country within Europe? The experts disagree as to the underlying causes of these differences.
Because we are concerned with knowledge-based economies, the factors most often mentioned are the lower spending on R&D, the lags in innovation and rigidities in the labour markets of European countries, especially France. "Wrong!" say Philippe Durance, Michel Godet and Michel Martinez. Instead the explanations lie in the differences in demographic increase and the disparities in hours worked and, above all, in employment levels.
The authors' arguments come down to three factors. First, four-fifths of the difference between growth rates in the United States and Europe can be explained by the difference in rates of population increase, followed by the shorter hours worked by those in employment (an American works 25% longer hours than a French worker), and lastly the lower proportion of those in work in Europe, with significant differences among countries, for instance between Britain and France.
And here the authors proffer an argument that cannot fail to capture the attention of our readers: "Let's stop boasting about the apparent high productivity rate in France, which is largely a reflection in the statistics of the fact that the least productive workers are consigned to the scrapheap". In other words, "the hourly productivity rate is then an indicator of exclusion", and it would be better if everyone worked, so that overall activity rates rose, rather than practising discrimination in the name of maintaining productivity.
Le Monde annonçait, le 31 décembre 2005, que la baisse du chômage s'était poursuivie en novembre 2005, pour le huitième mois consécutif (le taux de chômage est revenu à 9,6 % contre 10,2 % en avril 2005). Indépendamment du débat sur l'origine de cette baisse (importance des emplois aidés et radiations de chômeurs1), les voix s'élèvent de nouveau pour se réjouir de l'avènement prochain du " plein emploi " dans la société française, et cela, sans effort particulier ...
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La vente de 150 avions Airbus à la Chine au mois de décembre 2005 permet à Pierre Bonnaure de développer des analyses sur la croissance chinoise et de s'interroger sur les perspectives mondiales du transport aérien. Les deux questions sont liées puisque les ventes d'avions à la Chine s'accompagnent de transferts de technologies et que la Chine semble nourrir des ambitions fortes dans le domaine du transport aérien. Ce secteur apparaît donc comme un observatoire privilégié 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.