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. Data sources used in our articles are cited according to the IZA World of Labor data citation convention.
Persistent unemployment after recessions and the policies
required to bring it down are the subject of an ongoing debate. One view suggests there
are fundamental changes in the labor market that imply a long-term higher rate of
unemployment, requiring the implementation of structural policy reforms. The alternative
view is that the slow recovery of the economy is due to cyclic reasons coming from lack
of demand which prevents unemployment from falling quickly. Knowing whether higher
unemployment is caused by structural change in the labor market or whether the problem
is cyclic determines how effective policy can be in addressing the problem.
The demand for institutional long-term care is
likely to remain high in OECD countries, because of longer life expectancy
and falling cohabitation rates of the elderly with family members. As
shortages of qualified nurses put a cap on the supply of beds at nursing
homes, excess demand builds. That puts upward pressure on prices, which may
not reflect the quality of the services that are provided. Monitoring the
quality of nursing home services is high on the agenda of OECD governments.
Enlisting feedback from family visitors and introducing portable benefits
might improve quality at little extra cost.
Employers want motivated and productive
employees. Are there ways to increase employee motivation without relying
solely on monetary incentives, such as pay-for-performance schemes? One tool
that has shown promise in recent decades for improving worker performance is
setting goals, whether they are assigned by management or self-chosen. Goals
are powerful motivators for workers, with the potential for boosting
productivity in an organization. However, if not chosen carefully or if used
in unsuitable situations, goals can have undesired and harmful consequences.
Goals are a powerful tool that needs to be applied with caution.