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Jobs and Development

Less is more for unions in Central and Eastern Europe

Iga Magda's picture

There is evidence that firm- and industry-level agreements that led to wage premia in CEE countries increased after EU entry. These agreements were negotiated by trade unions with employers or employer associations. But union membership in these countries has been falling since the 1990s. At the same time that union members became less numerous, they managed however to be more effective in negotiating their objectives, especially with regard to the wages of workers covered by collective agreements.

A typology of employment systems: beyond the binary

Dev Nathan's picture

A lot of our thinking in economics is based on a binary typology. The nature of employment systems is one area in which it makes sense to move away from this. A quick look at employment in developing economies (and increasingly in developed economies) shows that standard employment is the exception rather than the rule. This raises the question: how useful is it to use a binary categorization in which the negative or non-standard is, in fact, the standard? 

Colonial history affects labor regulations

Lucas Ronconi's picture

The long-lasting effects of European colonization strategies can be seen in labor regulations in the developing world.  In those territories where the Europeans pursued an extractive strategy, they created an economy characterized by monopolies and the exploitation of labor. This situation led to social unrest, and ultimately to the introduction of stringent labor laws in an attempt to buy social peace. In those places that were colonized in order for Europeans to live, more competitive economies were founded.

Outsourcing, technology, globalization and jobs

Jonathan Eaton's picture


Professor Jonathan Eaton from Penn State discusses how the interplay between outsourcing, technology and globalization are affecting people’s jobs. He also comments on how employment specialization will give way to employment generalization, emphasizing the worker’s ability to transition from one industry or occupation to the next as technological change and opportunities for outsourcing lead to changes in employment prospects. The implications for policy makers are that they need to train their workforce to be flexible. 

Does emigration really increase the wages of non-emigrants?

Alessio Brown's picture

Although immigration and its effect on labor markets in receiving countries is a frequent focus of research and public concern, there is less known about the impact of emigration on sending countries. Yet, as Benjamin Elsner explains in his recent study for IZA World of Labor, emigration actually has positive and large effects on wages in sending countries. 

Creating employment in post-conflict and fragile states

Nisha Arunatilake's picture

Violent conflicts, such as the one experienced by Sri Lanka, are caused by a variety of factors. Even when violent conflicts are concluded, the societies remain fragile. Fragility affects the demand for labour because firms and businesses are reluctant to invest. The poor quality of governance in affected areas further discourages private firms. But the Eastern Revival programme undertaken in Sri Lanka post 2007, enabled the fishing industry to rebound quickly. We look at how this was achieved. 

Does decentralization of collective bargaining in developing countries raise productivity?

Alessio Brown's picture


Recent empirical evidence from Latin America indicates that negotiating work rules at firm level rather than industry level may lead to greater productivity gains. However, bargaining does not follow a single model across developing countries, or even countries in a region. The results from a new IZA World of Labor study indicate that while industry-level bargaining may lower productivity by restricting managerial flexibility in response to market changes, firm-level negotiations are more efficient and improve productivity.

DFIs should work together to measure job impacts

Dirk Willem te Velde's picture


The creation of jobs and the promotion of economic transformation are the main development challenges in low and middle income countries. Development finance institutions (DFIs) support private sector activities through finance and technical assistance. These are key instruments in stimulating private sector-led job creation. However, without active collaboration amongst DFIs it will be difficult to fully understand their impact. For instance, collective action through the Let’s Work partnership has the potential to enhance the evidence base on the impact of DFI-supported firms on job creation.

Moving toward solutions for youth employment: improving the odds for the next generation

Nicole Goldin's picture

The Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE) Coalition today releases its flagship report Toward Solutions for Youth Employment: A 2015 Baseline Report. Based on findings from an empirical study discussed in the report’s evidence baseline, we are able to assert for the first time with some certainty that youth employment interventions can work – especially those that support youth entrepreneurship and skills. This is the raison d’être for S4YE’s formation one year ago – to disrupt the youth employment landscape by providing leadership, catalytic action and mobilizing multi-sector efforts to significantly increase the number of young people engaged in productive work by 2030.

A Peruvian jobs diagnostic

Elizabeth Ruppert Bulmer's picture
Infographic: high resolution
Last week the World Bank Group’s Annual Meetings was held in Lima, Peru. The country has enjoyed more than a decade of strong economic growth. But what has this meant for the Peruvian labor market? The World Bank’s Jobs Group has used its Jobs Diagnostic tool to analyze the country to better understand how workers in Peru are enabling and benefiting from economic growth, and productivity challenges for the future.  

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