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.
Raising the minimum wage in developing countries
could increase or decrease poverty, depending on labor market
characteristics. Minimum wages target formal sector workers—a minority in
most developing countries—many of whom do not live in poor households.
Whether raising minimum wages reduces poverty depends not only on whether
formal sector workers lose jobs as a result, but also on whether low-wage
workers live in poor households, how widely minimum wages are enforced, how
minimum wages affect informal workers, and whether social safety nets are in
Many countries are experiencing increasing
inflows of immigrant students. This raises concerns that having a large
share of students for whom the host country language is not their first
language may have detrimental effects on the educational outcomes of native
children. However, the evidence is mixed, with some studies finding negative
effects, and others finding no effects. Whether higher concentrations of
immigrant students have an effect on native students differs across
countries according to factors such as organization of the school system and
immigrants’ socio-economic background.
Estimating the causal effect of immigration on the labor
market outcomes of native workers has been a major concern in the literature. Because
immigrants decide whether and where to migrate, immigrant populations generally consist
of individuals with characteristics that differ from those of a randomly selected
sample. One solution is to focus on events such as civil wars and natural catastrophes
that generate rapid and unexpected flows of refugees into a country unrelated to their
personal characteristics, location, and employment preferences. These “natural
experiments” yield estimates that find small negative effects on native workers’
employment but not on wages.