The Future of Work

Conference Program

October 11-12, 2019
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University
3434 Washington Boulevard, 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201


Friday, October 11, 2019


8:00 am-6:00 pm         Registration

8:00 am-9:00 am         Coffee

9:00 am-10:15 am       Keynote Address: “Data Dignity as a Future for Work” by Glen Weyl

                                        (Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research)

10:15 am-10:30 am     Coffee Break

10:30 am-12:00 pm     Session I: The Global Labor Market

  • “How Technology Workers predict 4IR Technologies will Impact Jobs and Their Interest in Policies to Address Economic Inequality” by Christina Elson (University of Maryland), Joseph P. Bailey (University of Maryland), Tom Suder (ATARC), and David Yang (Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets)
  • “The Market Model: The Evolution of Labor Migration Policy in 30 Countries” by Justin Gest (George Mason University) and Anna Boucher (University of Sydney)
  • “Dynamic changes in the U.S. labor market since 1990” by Daniel Griswold (Mercatus Center)
  • “The implications of scarce human genius in AI development” by Caleb Watney (R Street)


12:00 pm-1:00 pm       Luncheon

1:00 pm-2:30 pm         Session II: Reimagining the Safety Net

  • “Universal Basic Income Cannot Replace the Subjective Value of Work” by John Buchmann (Collegium Institute) and Michael Kane (Collegium Institute)
  • “Need, Deservingness, and the Politics of Social Protection” by Brett J. Gall (Duke University)
  • “Deseret Industries: A Case Study in Non-state Provision of Job Training” by Jacob M. Caldwell (Center for Growth and Opportunity), Vdalia Cornwall (Center for Growth and Opportunity), Samuel Hammond (Niskanen Center), and Avery James (Niskanen Center)
  • “Cybersecurity Issues Regarding Technology Advancements in Social Welfare” by Donna M. Schaeffer (Marymount University) and Patrick C. Olson (National University)


2:30 pm-2:45 pm         Coffee Break

2:45 pm-4:15 pm         Parallel Sessions

                                        Session III: Work and Education

  • “The Future of Work: What it Means for Education” by Catherine England (Marymount University) and Nicole A. Fratrik (University of Virginia)
  • “A History and Future of Digital Badges and Micro-credentials: The Future of Work in Higher Education” by William A. Hanff Jr. (University of the District of Columbia) and Habtamu Dugo (University of the District of Columbia)
  • “Information Technology, K-12 Education and the Future of Work” by Christine P. Ries (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • “Attitudinal Trends in Alternative Postsecondary Learning” by John Aaron Vandivier (George Mason University)


                                        Session IV: Blockchain and Labor Contracts

  • “Coase, Contracts, and the Future of Work: An Economic Explanation for the Gig-Economy” by Megan Hansen (Center for Growth and Opportunity), Christopher Koopman (Center for Growth and Opportunity), and Brian Isom (Center for Growth and Opportunity)
  • “Transaction Costs, Technology and Civil Society” by Malavika Nair (Troy University) and Gordon Miller (Baylor University)
  • “Blockchain, Cost of Trust and the Future of Work” by Chris Berg (RMIT University), Mikayla Novak (RMIT University), and Jason Potts (RMIT University)
  • “Radical Markets for Labor?” by John Thrasher (Chapman University)


4:15 pm-4:30 pm        Coffee Break

4:30 pm-5:45 pm        Keynote Address: “The Future of Work” by Betsey Stevenson

                                       (Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics, University of Michigan)

5:45 pm-7:00 pm         Reception


Saturday, October 12, 2019


8:00 am-4:30 pm         Registration

8:00 am-9:00 am         Coffee

9:00 am-10:15 am       Keynote Address: “The Future of Jobs in the Sharing Economy: UBI, Price

                                        Effect, and Income Effect” by Michael C. Munger (Professor of Political

                                        Science, Economics, and Public Policy, Duke University)

10:15 am-10:30 am     Coffee Break

10:30 am-12:00 pm     Session V: Emerging Technology and Worker Flexibility

  • “Social Enterprises and Economic Mobility in the United States” by Jun Han (Georgetown University)
  • “Finding Meaning in the Metaverse: Virtual Reality and the Future of Work” by Anne Hobson (Mercatus Center)
  • “Redesigning Work Life with Behavioral Economics” by Matthew Darling (ideas42), Dan Connolly, Uyhun Ung, and Ted Robertson
  • “Female Entrepreneurship and the Rise of Internet-Based Communities: An Examination of Instagram Influencer Marketing” by Jessica Carges (Mercatus Center)


12:00 pm-1:00 pm       Luncheon

1:00 pm-2:30 pm          Session VI: The Meaning of Work

  • “Competing Notions of Work and the Entrepreneurial Spirit of the US” by Alice Calder (Mercatus Center)
  • “Work and Dignity in Pixar Movies” by Joe Coletti (John Locke Foundation) and Dominic Coletti (University of Michigan)
  • “Consumer Protection in an Online World: An Analysis of Occupational Licensing” by Chiara Farronato (Harvard Business School), Andrey Fradkin (Boston University), Bradley J. Larsen (Stanford University), and Erik Brynjolfsson (MIT Sloan)
  • “The Future of Less Work” by Veronique de Rugy (Mercatus Center) and Weifeng Zhong (Mercatus Center)


2:30 pm-2:45 pm         Coffee Break

2:45 pm-4:15 pm          Parallel Sessions

                                         Session VII: The Workforce Effects of Automation

  • “Task Attributes, Technological Change and Vulnerability of Employment: A State-Level Investigation” by Iftekhairul Islam (The University of Texas)
  •  “Preventing Managerial Failure from Excessive Automation” by Ryan Khurana (Institute for Advancing Prosperity)
  • “Automation, Career Pathways, and the Future of Work” by Dan Kuehn (The Urban Institute), Ian Hecker (The Urban Institute), and Demetra Nightingale (The Urban Institute)
  • “FORTEC - Forecasting the Development of Artificial Intelligence Up to 2050” by Kieran Marray (University of Oxford), Shruthi Prabhakar (George Mason University), and Rob Axtell (George Mason University)


                                        Session VIII: Alternative Work Arrangements and Skillsets

  • “Willingness to be Paid: Who will train for tech jobs?” by Joy Buchanan (Samford University)
  •  “Gig Work and the Employment/Freelance Distinction” by Daniel Halliday (University of Melbourne)
  •  “The Nature & Effects of the Emergence of Online-Intermediated Work” by Michael Kotrous (Mercatus Center) and Christopher Koopman (Center for Growth and Opportunity)
  • “L-uber-cating Labor Market Frictions? The Impact of Ridesharing's Introduction on American Cities” by Tucker Omberg (George Mason University)


4:15 pm -4:30 pm        Coffee Break

4:30 pm-5:45 pm          Keynote Address: “A 21st Century Vision for Economic Security” by Elizabeth Rhodes

                                         (Research Director for the Basic Income Project, Y Combinator Research)

5:45 pm                          Conference Adjourned


Return to The Future of Work event page here. 

*Presenting authors are in bold.