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May 2014

Weighing Trade-Offs of Higher Labor Costs

Daniel Hamermesh's picture

A major topic of debate right now in many industrial countries — like France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States — is whether to raise or even just introduce minimum wages. Advocates cite the need for better working conditions, while critics worry that higher labor costs will raise unemployment and possibly deter growth as businesses retrench. Who's right? Or are both sides right? To learn more, the JKP spoke with Daniel Hamermesh, a Professor of Economics at University of Texas at Austin, and Royal Holloway, University of London.

The Pay-Off for Firms of Apprenticeships

Robert Lerman's picture

Countries like Germany, Switzerland, and Austria tend to have low youth unemployment rates. They also are known for high-quality training programs — known as apprenticeships — that are run by many of their companies. So why aren't more companies pursuing this path to secure more jobs for youth and develop their human capital? That's a question that Robert Lerman — Professor of Economics at American University and an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute — recently studied.

Gender Wage Gap: Better but Still Way Too Large

Solomon Polachek's picture

Despite equal pay legislation dating back 50 years, American women still earn 22 percent less than their male counterparts. In the United Kingdom, the gap is still 21 percent, and in France and Australia, it is around 17 percent. What can be done to further narrow the gap in industrial countries? To learn more, the JKP recently spoke with Solomon Polachek, a Distinguished Professor at Binghamton University (SUNY) and an expert on the topic.

Meeting the Youth Employment Challenge in Africa – Six Myths

Louise Fox's picture

Youth empowerment in Liberia. Photo credit: Flickr @CAFOD

As the world's youngest and poorest region, Sub-Saharan Africa faces a major jobs challenge. Half of the population is under 25, and every year 11 million people enter the labor force — mostly youth looking for work. After more than a decade of rapid growth and expansion of educational opportunities, youth have high aspirations and expectations, and African policy makers are concerned about how to meet them. Jobs and opportunity are at the top of the development agenda.

日本経済の活性化に、人材を目覚めさせる (Shaking Up Japan’s Workforce to Reinvigorate)

Yoko Ishikura's picture

Japanese office workers. Photo credit: iStock 02-27-13 © kobbydagan


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