IZA World of Labor provides decision-makers with relevant and succinct information based on sound empirical evidence to help in formulating good policies and best practices. It provides expert know-how in an innovative structure, and a clear and accessible style.
Program evaluation provides an overview of the effectiveness of a variety of policies that have been tested in diverse settings across various countries. The knowledge provided suggests whether or not the individual and the economy fair better without the measures studied.
Behavioral economics analyzes the emotional and cognitive factors that influence the decisions of actors. Personnel economics analyzes the internal organizational strategy of the firm and the human resource management practices chosen to pursue that strategy.
Mobility is important for the functioning of markets and society. Migration deals with issues of national and international mobility, such as demand and supply, and what migration means for natives and migrants and for sending and receiving countries.
Institutions have important consequences for the performance of households, companies, governments and entire markets; they determine the welfare of nations. Contributions explore the underlying mechanisms and the politico-economic determinants of such structures.
The transformation of economic systems from plan to market in transition and emerging economies has significant consequences not only for labor markets in those countries. Their lessons can also guide the development of institutions and labor reform policies in other countries.
Low-income countries differ from higher-income countries in that they have large informal sectors, greater prevalence of self-employment and subsistence agriculture, low female labor participation rates and poor labor market conditions. As labor is most often the only asset of someone in poverty, policies that are not associated with job creation may fail to reduce poverty. Hence, development deals with the potential of labor economics to address those challenges.
Optimal environmental policy aims at equalizing benefits and costs of improving environmental quality. While the benefits generally accrue in the form of increased health, worker productivity, quality of life, and amenity values, the costs of environmental regulations are mostly borne through impacts on industrial activity and labor market outcomes. Successful policy development requires information on the connection between environmental regulations, labor markets, and industrial activity.
Education shows great resilience to shocks—labor demand for highly skilled workers has remained high in all kinds of economic conditions. Public policy for education and human capital include increasing the economic and social returns on education, fostering greater educational attainment, encouraging social and economic mobility, and providing vocational education, training, and lifelong learning.
Population characteristics strongly predict labor market success. One of the biggest economic changes has been the rise of women in the labor market. The upcoming demographic imbalances suggest substantial adjustment processes on labor markets around the globe. Empirical evidence relating social, cultural, and biological processes to worker well-being is also provided.
Data are the foundation for evidence-based research. Therefore, the value of different types of data collection is made transparent. Important statistical and econometric methods are explained that provide instruments to condense information and to identify and quantify correlation or causality.
According to economic theory, a minimum wage
reduces the number of low-wage jobs and increases the number of available
workers, allowing greater hiring selectivity. More competition for a smaller
number of low-wage jobs will disadvantage immigrants if employers perceive
them as less skilled than native-born workers—and vice versa. Studies
indicate that a higher minimum wage does not hurt immigrants, but there is
no consensus on whether immigrants benefit at the expense of natives.
Studies also reach disparate conclusions on whether higher minimum wages
attract or repel immigrants.
In response to declining budgets, many school
districts in the US have reduced funding for sports. In Europe, parents may
respond to difficult economic times by spending less on sports clubs for
their children. Such cuts are unwise if participating in sports is an
investment good as well as a consumption good and adds to students’ human
capital. The value of sports is hard to measure because people who already
possess the skills needed to succeed in school and beyond might be more
likely to participate in sports. Most studies that account for this
endogeneity find that participation in youth sports improves academic and
labor market performance.
Automation and globalization have brought about a
tremendous increase in productivity, but also accelerated job destruction, systemic
risks, and greater income inequality. Current social policies may not be adequate for
achieving the goals of redistributing the gains from automation and globalization,
providing efficient buffers against economic shocks, and advancing the reallocation of
jobs and skills. Under certain circumstances, an unconditional basic income might be a
better alternative for achieving those goals. It is simple, transparent, and has low
administrative costs, though it may require higher taxes.