07 Jun 2024

Lectio Inauguralis Rodolfo Debenedetti Chair in Labour Economics

Lectio Inauguralis Rodolfo Debenedetti Chair in Labour Economics

On June 5th, the new Rodolfo Debenedetti Chair in Labour Economics was inaugurated at Bocconi University, a milestone made possible thanks to the generous donation from the Rodolfo Debenedetti Foundation. This significant event provided numerous insights into the transformations occurring in the labor market.

The day began with greetings from Rector Francesco Billari and Carlo De Benedetti, President of the Rodolfo Debenedetti Foundation. De Benedetti expressed great satisfaction with the inauguration of the chair, emphasizing the importance of research on labor economics and social policies.

Thomas Le Barbanchon, the holder of the new chair, then opened the Lectio Inauguralis, highlighting the importance of labor policies in adapting to new technologies and new norms. The new Chairholder addressed fundamental topics such as artificial intelligence, collective bargaining, and the evaluation of labor policies. Le Barbanchon stressed the crucial need for employers to adapt to a continuously evolving market, tackling challenges such as automation and global competition. The research of the chair will focus on analyzing effective strategies to help employers navigate these changes, promoting fair labor practices and studying the impact of AI on job relocation and workforce reskilling.

Le Barbanchon also discussed the importance of negotiation skills and collective bargaining in the era of AI and big data, which influence the dynamics of union negotiations. In this context, the Chair will focus on how to utilize AI to create new useful data for collective agreements and will develop training programs to improve the negotiation skills of both workers' representatives and employers.

The Lectio also featured the exceptional participation of David Card, Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley and Nobel Prize winner in Economics in 2021, who offered an innovative perspective on the current challenges of the labor market. Subsequently, Le Barbanchon and Elena Panzera, Senior Vice President HR EMEA and AP at SAS, were interviewed by Mariangela Pira of Sky Italia. The interview explored the practical implications of labor policies and the challenges for human resources in a rapidly changing environment.

The day concluded with thanks from President Andrea Sironi, who reiterated the importance of addressing the dynamics of the modern labor market, consolidating Bocconi's role as a center of excellence in economic and social research. Thanks to the support of the Rodolfo Debenedetti Foundation, this chair represents a fundamental step in deepening the understanding of labor market challenges and promoting innovative and effective policies.