Published on Jobs and Development

What we’ve been reading: Highlights from the 2021 Jobs and Development Conference

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What we’ve been reading: Highlights from the 2021 Jobs and Development Conference A man working on powerlines in Santo Domingo. Photo: Orlando Barría

This reading list is based on the August 2021 edition of the Knowledge4Jobs newsletter, curated by the World Bank’s Jobs Group and Labor & Skills Global Solutions Group. Click here to sign up for the Knowledge4Jobs newsletter.

The Jobs and Development Conference, cohosted by the World Bank Jobs Group, IZA Institute of Labor Economics, the Network on Jobs and Development (NJD), and the United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), has become one of the leading international events bringing together policymakers, researchers, and students working on this vitally important development topic.

This year's fifth conference in the series, held online from September 1-3, was called “Good Jobs Transitions for Post-Pandemic Development.” In this edition of the “What We’ve Been Reading” newsletter, we present some of the research that’s being highlighted in the conference.

Better Jobs for Development

A manufacturing Renaissance? This paper says that the notion that the developing world is deindustrializing is premature. (Kruse et al, UNU-WIDER, February 2021)

The poor employment performance of large Tanzanian and Ethiopian firms is related to use of capital-intensive techniques associated with global trends in technology. (Diao et al, National Bureau of Economic Research, February 2021)

Examining the long-term income mobility trends in Mexico, a middle-income country that has experienced multiple and well-defined economic cycles over the last three decades. (Hector Moreno, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, September 2020)

This brief highlights how the movement of people into better-paying jobs was a key element of China's long-term success in growth and poverty reduction. (Merotto & Jiang, August 2021)

Broader Jobs Agenda

There’s robust evidence of an inverted U-shaped relationship between female labor force participation and inequality. (Alfani et al, World Bank, April 2021)

Small area estimation vastly improves the accuracy and precision of local labor force statistics, particularly labor force participation and unemployment, this paper studying Mexico finds. (Merfeld et al, September 2021)

The savings workers accumulate abroad enable them to overcome the credit constraints they face for entrepreneurship at home. (Bossavie et al, World Bank, July 2021)

In Mexico, a temporary wage incentive increased employment rates among high school graduates planning to enter the labor market without distorting the choices of those planning to continue their education. This study was funded by the World Bank’s Jobs Umbrella Multi-Donor Trust Fund. (Abel et al, April 2021)

COVID-19 Related Articles

Women, the young, the less educated, and the urban segments of the workforce have borne the brunt of the pandemic's employment losses. (Kugler et al, World Bank, June 2021)

The rise of formal remittances in Mexico during COVID-19. (Dinarte et al, March 2021)

Women earned 29 percent less per hour than men prior to South Africa's national lockdown. That increased to 43 percent less in June 2020. (Hill & Kohler, Development Policy Research Unit, January 2021)

This paper examines the impact of the pandemic on the supply and demand for informal manual freelancers in Mozambique. (Jones & Manhique, UNU-WIDER, June 2021)

The pandemic's impact on labor markets and households may not have been fully captured by GDP projections, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, due to a high level of informality that is not fully reflected in GDP projections. (Khamis et al, World Bank, January 2021)


Gary Fields

Professor, Cornell University

Ian Walker

Manager of the World Bank’s Jobs Group

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