El próximo contrato social

PARÍS – Hoy en todo el mundo el persistente desempleo, la falta de correspondencia entre habilidades y oportunidades, y las reformas a los sistemas de pensiones se han convertido en elementos centrales de la política fiscal y los debates, a menudo feroces, que la rodean. Los países desarrollados se enfrentan a un problema inmediato de envejecimiento de su población, pero la mayoría de las economías emergentes se encuentran asimismo en medio de una transición demográfica que tendrá como resultado en apenas dos o tres décadas una estructura etaria similar a la de las naciones avanzadas, es decir, una pirámide invertida. De hecho, China llegará a ese punto mucho antes.

El empleo se ve afectado por numerosos problemas. La debilidad de la demanda tras la crisis financiera global de 2008 sigue siendo un factor clave en Europa, Estados Unidos y Japón. Pero además en los mercados del trabajo están pesando problemas estructurales de más largo plazo.

El factor central es el hecho de que la globalización origina constantemente cambios en las interrelaciones de las ventajas comparativas, creando serios desajustes cuando los empleos que se crean en las nuevas actividades no necesariamente se compensan los que desaparecen. En todo caso, la mayoría de los nuevos puestos exigen habilidades distintas, lo que implica que quienes pierden sus empleos en los sectores en desaparición tienen pocas esperanzas de encontrar uno nuevo.

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