Abstract

Has Covid-19 accelerated the future of work? This article argues that Covid-19 has changed the future of work via four shocks: massive job losses, massive digital transformations, massive debt burdens and massive costs of socially distanced office space. These matter in two ways. First, due to sunk-cost hysteresis, re-hiring workers is very different than retaining workers. Second, the digital transformations, office-space costs and debt burdens will push firms to replace domestic workers with "telemigrants" or "white-collar robots". The jobs that return will be those that require face-to-face interactions and involve tasks that AI cannot handle.

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