A “new normal” as a “new essential”? COVID-19, digital transformations and employment structures
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This paper explores the new policy challenges that have emerged as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The “new normal” should acknowledge the “new essential” in terms of jobs and sectors. First, the paper examines the trade-off between health policies and anti-recessionary policies. It studies the economic impact of lockdown on households and firms and, relatedly, the slowdown in global value chain-related trade. It the examines lessons that can be learned from this crisis in areas that were topical before the outbreak and are likely to be even more so after it. These include the need to steer digital transformation so as to minimize negative impacts on jobs and sectors while reflecting critically on their “essentiality” and the need for concerted policy action to ensure good governance of health data.