Technological progress disrupts existing systems. A new social contract is needed to smooth the transition and guard against rising inequality. Significant investments in human capital throughout a person’s lifecycle are vital to this effort. The 2019 World Development Report will study how the nature of work is changing as a result of advances in technology today.
If workers are to stay competitive against machines they need to train or retool existing skills. A social protection system that includes a minimum basic level of protection for workers and citizens can complement new forms of employment. Improved private sector policies to encourage startup activity and competition can help countries compete in the digital age. Governments also need to ensure that firms pay their fair share of taxes, in part to fund this new social contract. The 2019 World Development Report presents an analysis of these issues based upon the available evidence
Although greater connectivity can expose countries to external shocks, the report presents fact-based argument for policies that seek to build deeper and more diverse connections within the Europe and Central Asia region and globally. The message is timely. Europe’s once-confident march toward economic integration has slowed over the past decade, with voices in many countries questioning the wisdom of opening to the global economy. Critical Connections serves as a reminder to citizens and policy makers that greater regional and global connectivity has been a tremendous “convergence machine,” raising living standards of lower-income countries toward those of wealthier middle- to high-income countries.