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November 2012

What Larger Firms Have to Offer

Mary Hallward-Driemeier's picture

Worker in factory, 2008. India. Photo: © Ray Witlin / World Bank

Whereas much attention has been paid to small and medium enterprises in recent years, many new papers are now looking more closely at larger firm growth – and the productivity, wage, and employment benefits that can result. Today's blog highlights five working papers – all still works in progress - that look at questions of firm size and job creation. The papers argue from different perspectives that ignoring distortions that can keep firms from becoming large is costly. If the aim is to raise productivity and expand overall employment, the contribution of larger firms is critical.

Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Middle East and North Africa

Neveen El Tahri's picture

For the Middle East and North Africa, a major challenge is creating meaningful and plentiful job opportunities. How can this be done? We spoke with Neveen El Tahri, Chairwoman and Managing Director of Delta Shield for Investment, an organization she founded to mentor Egyptian entrepreneurs.

Generating Jobs for Youth in Africa

Dickson Malunda's picture

For Africa—home to the youngest population in the world and an extremely high youth unemployment rate—finding jobs for the millions of young people searching for them is a high priority. We spoke with Dickson Malunda, a Senior Research fellow at the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research in Rwanda, where about two-thirds of the population is under the age of 25. He says Africa needs to take a more holistic approach to creating jobs and encouraging entrepreneurship—not just piecemeal, insufficiently coordinated efforts.

Public Works: Resilience or Opportunity or Both?

Harold Alderman's picture

South South Learning Conference, Hyderabad, 2012

Public works programs clearly have a central role in explorations of how labor and social assistance policies can help create good jobs – actually the subject of the recent 4th South-South Learning Forum in Hyderabad, India, "Building Resilience and Opportunity." Somewhat curiously, however, the panels on this key safety net tool have been featured in the sessions on opportunity rather than resilience. Is there a risk in over-emphasizing this dimension of public works programs and perhaps losing sight of the primary function?

The Precarious New World of "Informal" Jobs

Klaus Zimmermann's picture

Juventud sin futuro - Youth job protests, Madrid, April 7, 2011

A new specter is haunting the world economy — the specter of informality. The term describes people working either in informal arrangements with employers or in irregular self-employment occupations, but in either case without employment security or social security. Until a few years ago, any mention of that word pretty much implied that one was talking about the developing world.

From India - How to Improve Job Opportunities

David Robalino's picture

I recently returned from two weeks in India. First in Hyderabad, where 240 people from 60 countries got together for the 4th South-South Learning Forum 2012 on "Building Resilience and Opportunities: the Role of Labor and Social Assistance Policies." Second in New Delhi, where 120 academicians and policy makers gathered for the 7th IZA-World Bank Conference on Employment and Development.

Istanbul Conference (Part III) – Job Data Gaps and Lifetime Learning

David Grubb's picture

Governments worldwide are increasingly exploring policies that will remove the constraints or disincentives for individuals to have access to jobs. One set of interventions are active labor market programs, which focus on employment services, training, and subsidies to employers to stimulate hiring. Governments are also looking at alternative activation strategies, which essentially reward those who search for jobs with benefit payments and support services. In Part III of a three-part series, we hear from David Grubb, Senior Economist with the OECD Labour and Social Affairs Directorate and Jochen Kluve, Professor of Labor Economics, Humboldt University, Berlin.

Istanbul Conference (Part II) – The Complexities of the Turkish Labor Market

Ümit Efendioğlu's picture

Governments worldwide are increasingly exploring policies that will remove the constraints or disincentives for individuals to have access to jobs. In Part II of a three-part series, we learn more about Turkey's labor policies from Ümit Efendioğlu, Director for the ILO Office in Turkey; Gokce Uysal, Researcher, Betam Bahcesehir University Center for Economic and Social Research; and David Grubb, Senior Economist in the Employment Analysis and Policies Division of the OECD Labour and Social Affairs Directorate.

Istanbul Conference (Part I) - Germany's and Azerbaijan's Labor Market Reforms

Ulrich Hörning's picture

Governments worldwide are increasingly exploring policies that will remove the constraints or disincentives for individuals to have access to jobs. One set of interventions are active labor market programs. In Part 1 of a three-part series, we speak to Ulrich Hörning, Head of Administrative Reform in Mannheim, on Germany’s labor reforms of 2003-05. We also hear from Huseyn Huseynov, Advisor, Department of Social Protection Policy, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population, Azerbaijan, who explains active jobs programs.

Stepping Up Job Creation and Inclusive Growth in Africa

Susan Lund's picture

Over the past decade, Africa has established itself as one of the world's fastest-growing regions. The next challenge is to ensure that economic growth benefits the majority of Africa's people. Job creation and the expansion of stable, wage-paying jobs is one way this happens. Jobs provide the ladder for income growth and economic opportunities, and they are the key to expanding the continent's emerging consuming class. To achieve this, Africa needs targeted jobs strategies to run in parallel with pro-growth policies.

Jobs, plateaus, dividends, skills and data (cross-posted)

Kaushik Basu's picture

Using a silkscreen to dye Fabric _8825, hkoons, 2011

Jobs have been at the center of my life since I took up my own new job as World Bank Chief Economist on October 1. This began within hours of my joining the Bank, when I participated in the press launch of the World Development Report 2013 on Jobs. I have a longstanding interest in labor-related issues, the role of labor laws, and on the impact of privatization on jobs. So I was pleased by the clairvoyance of the World Bank in choosing jobs as the topic for the 2013 World Development Report, much before the Bank knew that it would choose me to be the Chief Economist.