The Future of Work: Philosophical and Economic Perspectives

June 22, 2022 - June 24, 2022
EIPE, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam 3062 PA

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  • Society for Applied Philosophy
  • Dutch Research Council (NWO)


Tilburg University
Stockholm University
Cambridge University
Tilburg University

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The Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics is delighted to announce a conference entitled ’The Future of Work: Philosophical and Economic Perspectives’, to be held in Rotterdam from June 22-24, 2022.


Work plays an important role in the lives of most contemporary human adults. One of the characteristics of work is that it tends to take up a significant share of our time (Rose 2016). At the same time, work remains a sphere of life where questions of justice are central, and new questions of justice arise. Think about the unreasonable demands that corporations make of their warehouse workers, sometimes going as far as restricting their workers to go to the bathroom when they need to go using digital surveillance methods (Anderson 2017); or about new exploitative labor arrangements that limit the access of workers to social welfare when they lose their work (Bieber and Moggia 2020; Eeckhout 2021, chp. 10).

While work has played a major role in human lives throughout history, the nature of work is also ever changing. Through increases in productivity, we can now produce a higher standard of living, while working fewer hours than at any point in the past. That this is expected to continue in the future is not controversial. What is controversial is whether the increasingly rapid advances in AI technology will lead to a categorical shift in the way we work, and cause widespread technological unemployment (Autor 2015; Brynjolfsson and McAfee 2014; Susskind 2020). Beside technological advances, there are also different changes in the labor market, such as an increased share of workers in self-employment (González-Ricoy & Queralt 2021), a decrease in labor union participation (Eeckhout 2021, chp. 4), and, as a result of recent changes due to the Covid pandemic, more workers who work from home.

Through the study of these phenomena, we not only can anticipate them, but we may also be able to affect them. To assess whether we should do so, we not only need a good understanding of what we may expect from changes in the labor market, but we also need an ethical evaluation of these phenomena. Through this conference, organised in collaboration with the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics, we aim to bring together economists and political philosophers working on the study of these phenomena. We hope that this will contribute to the formation of an international network of scholars researching the significance of work. 

There is a call for Papers for three slots on the program to enable junior scholars to participate. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2022. Please navigate to the Call for Papers for more information. 

It is possible to attend the conference online, free of charge. If you are interested in attending, please send a message to the conference organizers. 

The conference is generously supported by grants from the Society for Applied Philosophy and the Dutch Research Council (NWO).      

Confirmed speakers

Pascal Brixel, Clemson University

Denise Celentano, Radboud University

Nancy Folbre, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Anca Gheaus, Central European University

Sarah Goff, London School of Economics

Serena Olsaretti, ICREA - Pompeu Fabra University

Daniel Susskind, Balliol College, Oxford University

Areti Theofilopoulou, Hong Kong University

Kate Vredenburgh, London School of Economics

Huub Brouwer, Tilburg University

Willem van der Deijl, Tilburg University

Markus Furendal, Stockholm University

Nicholas Vrousalis, Erasmus University Rotterdam

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May 22, 2022, 12:00am CET

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