Since the concept of the “informal sector” was coined half a century ago, countries all over the world have promoted the formalization of small- and medium-size enterprises. The perceived benefits of formalization include better access to credit, justice, large formal clients, and, for the government, higher tax revenues. But according to recent literature, most formalization efforts resulted in modest and short term increases in formality rates.
Young people struggle to find jobs. Landing that first job is particularly challenging even for youth with quality education. In 2016, 100 young women under 25 in the Gjakova and Lipjan municipalities in Kosovo were seeking their first opportunity after completing university-level education. They enrolled in the World Bank’s Women in Online Work (WoW) pilot, a training program that aims to equip beneficiaries with the skills they need to find work in the online freelancing market. Within three months of graduation, WoW’s online workers were earning twice the average national hourly wage in Kosovo. Some graduates even went on start their own ventures and hire other young women to work with them.
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.
We know there are large gender gaps in labor markets. But how pervasive are they and what can be done about them? At the November 2012 LACEA (Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association) — LAMES (Latin American Meeting of the Econometric Society) conference in Peru, academics presented new evidence on the extent of gender gaps in the labor market and some of the underlying explanations for the patterns observed.
Over the past decade, Peru has enjoyed one of the best performing economies in Latin America – one that took the financial crisis in stride. Now its focus is on sustaining this trajectory and, with about a third of the population in poverty, spread the economic gains more broadly. The JKP team and Vox LACEA spoke on the subject with Luis Miguel Castilla, Peru’s Minister of Economy and Finance, who says his top economic priorities are growth, productivity, and social inclusion.