Evidence-based policy making

IZA World of Labor is an online platform that provides policy analysts, journalists, academics and society generally with relevant and concise information on labor market issues. Based on the latest research, it provides current thinking on labor markets worldwide in a clear and accessible style. IZA World of Labor aims to support evidence-based policy making and increase awareness of labor market issues, including current concerns like the impact of Covid-19, and longer-term problems like inequality.

View our content on Covid-19—Pandemics and the labor market 

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Products and policies to promote saving in developing countries 

Combine behavioral insights with good products to increase formal savings in developing countries

Jessica Goldberg

Poor people in developing countries can benefit from saving to take advantage of profitable investment opportunities, to smooth consumption when income is uneven and unpredictable, and to insure against emergencies. Despite the benefits of saving, only 41% of adults in developing countries have formal bank accounts, and many who do rarely use their accounts. Improving the design and marketing of financial products has the potential to increase savings among this population.

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  • Covid-19 and the youth-to-adult unemployment gap

    Is the youth labor market bearing the brunt of the pandemic?

    Francesco Pastore , January 2023
    The Covid-19 pandemic has produced unprecedented negative effects on the global economy, affecting both the demand and supply side. Its consequences in terms of job losses have been important in many European countries. A large number of firms have been forced to dismiss at least part of their workforce or to close down all together. Considering that young people are usually penalized more than their adult counterparts during economic crises due to the so-called “last-in-first-out” principle, it is worthwhile to evaluate if the youth will also end up paying the highest price during this pandemic-induced recession.
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  • Does government spending crowd out voluntary labor and donations? Updated

    There is little evidence that government spending crowds out private charitable donations of time and money

    Private charitable contributions play an essential role in most economies. From a policy perspective, there is concern that comprehensive government spending might crowd out private charitable donations. If perfect crowding out occurs, then every dollar spent by the government will lead to a one-for-one decrease in private spending, leaving the total level of welfare unaltered. Understanding the magnitude and the causes of crowding out is crucial from a policy perspective, as crowding out represents a hidden cost to public spending and can thus have significant consequences for government policies toward public welfare provision.
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  • Fertility postponement and labor market outcomes Updated

    Postponed childbearing improves women’s labor market outcomes but may reduce overall fertility

    Massimiliano Bratti , January 2023
    The rise in the average age of women bearing their first child is a well-established demographic trend in recent decades. Postponed childbearing can have important consequences for the mothers and, at a macro level, for the country in which they live. Research has primarily focused on the effect postponing fertility has on mothers’ labor market outcomes and on the total number of children a woman has in her lifetime. Most research finds that postponing the first birth raises a mother's labor force participation and wages but may have negative effects on overall fertility, especially in the absence of supportive family-friendly policies.
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  • In-plant alliances can mitigate economic crisis impacts Updated

    Decentral bargaining is an instrument to address both imminent economic crises and for increasing firm competitiveness

    In-plant alliances are plant-specific deviations from sectoral collective agreements related to wages and working time that are intended to hold down labor costs. These agreements enable firm-level reorganizations to respond to an imminent economic crisis or to improve competitiveness. They also encourage social partners to take greater responsibility for employment issues. Both unions and works councils agree to such contracts because they see them as helpful in avoiding severe employment losses. Thus, these alliances substantially unburden public employment policy.
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