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.
Government schemes that compensate workers for
the loss of income while they are on short hours (known as short-time work
compensation schemes) make it easier for employers to temporarily reduce
hours worked so that labor is better matched to output requirements. Because
the employers do not lay off these staff, the schemes help to maintain
permanent employment levels during recessions. However, they can create
inefficiency in the labor market, and might limit labor market access for
freelancers and those looking to work part-time.
In many countries, ethnic minority groups are
over-represented in self-employment compared with the majority community.
The kind of work done by minority entrepreneurs can therefore be an
important driver of the economic well-being of their ethnic group.
Furthermore, growing the self-employment sector is a policy objective for
many governments, which see it as a source of innovation, economic growth,
and employment. While self-employment might offer economic opportunities to
minority groups, it is important to understand the factors that underlie the
nature and extent of ethnic entrepreneurship to evaluate whether policy
measures should support it.
Debate over labor market flexibility focuses
mainly on firing costs, while largely ignoring wage determination and the
need for collective bargaining reform. Most countries affected by the euro
debt crisis have two-tier bargaining structures in which plant-level
bargaining supplements national or industrywide (multi-employer) agreements,
taking the pay agreement established at the multi-employer level as a floor.
Two-tier structures were intended to link pay more closely to productivity
and to allow wages to adjust downward during economic downturns, while
preventing excessive earning dispersion. However, these structures seem to
fail precisely on these grounds.