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.
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 studies document a large negative effect of
unemployment on happiness. Recent research has looked into factors related to impacts on
happiness, such as adaptation, social work norms, social capital, religious beliefs, and
psychological resources. Getting unemployed people back to work can do more for their
happiness than compensating them for doing nothing. But not all unemployed people are
equally unhappy. Understanding the differences holds the key to designing effective
policies, for helping the unemployed back into work, and for more evenly distributing
the burden of unemployment resulting from economic restructuring.
Happy people are healthier and more creative,
productive, and sociable. Because of these positive effects of happiness, it
is in the interest of countries to attract and retain happy people. With
respect to the decision to migrate, the central question becomes whether
people who are happier and more satisfied with their lives are more or less
likely to migrate. The evidence so far is mixed. Correlational studies find
that prospective migrants are less happy than people who are not intending
to migrate, while one study controlling for reverse causality suggests that
the desire to migrate increases with life satisfaction.