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 

featured article

Human capital effects of marriage payments 

Investing in female human capital can reduce brideprice and dowry practices and increase welfare

Siwan Anderson

Payments at the time of marriage, which are ubiquitous in developing countries, can be substantial enough to impoverish parents. Brideprice and dowry have both been linked to domestic violence against women, and inflation in these payments has prompted legislation against them in several jurisdictions. Marriage payments are often a substitute for investment in female human capital, so from a welfare and policy perspective, they should be prohibited. This highlights the importance of promoting direct economic returns over legal and customary rights.

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  • The labor market in New Zealand, 2000−2021 Updated

    Employment has grown steadily, unemployment is low, and the gender gap and skill premiums have fallen

    David C. Maré , August 2022
    New Zealand is a small open economy, with large international labor flows and skilled immigrants. After the global financial crisis (GFC) employment took four years to recover, while unemployment took more than a decade to return to pre-crisis levels. Māori, Pasifika, and young workers were worst affected. The Covid-19 pandemic saw employment decline and unemployment rise but this was reversed within a few quarters. However, the long-term impact of the pandemic remains uncertain.
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  • Demographic and economic determinants of migration Updated

    Push and pull factors drive the decision to stay or move

    Nicole B. Simpson , July 2022
    There are a myriad of economic and non-economic forces behind the decision to migrate. Migrants can be “pushed” out of their home countries due to deteriorating economic conditions or political unrest. Conversely, migrants are often “pulled” into destinations that offer high wages, good health care, strong educational systems, or linguistic proximity. In making their decision, individuals compare the net benefits of migration to the costs. By better understanding what forces affect specific migrant flows (e.g. demographic characteristics, migrant networks, and economic conditions), policymakers can set policy to target (or reduce) certain types of migrants.
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  • The gender gap in time allocation

    Gender inequalities in daily time allocation may have detrimental effects on earnings and well-being

    Many countries experience gender differences, of various magnitudes, in the time devoted to paid work (e.g. market work time) and unpaid work (e.g. housework and childcare). Since household responsibilities influence the participation of women, especially mothers, in the labor market, the unequal sharing of unpaid work, with women bearing the brunt of housework and childcare, is one of the main drivers of gender inequality in the labor market. Understanding the factors behind these gender inequalities is crucial for constructing policies aimed at promoting gender equality and combating gender-based discrimination.
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  • Parental leave and maternal labor supply Updated

    Parental leave increases the family–work balance, but prolonged leave may have negative impacts on mothers’ careers

    Astrid Kunze , June 2022
    Numerous studies have investigated whether the provision and generosity of parental leave affects the employment and career prospects of women. Parental leave systems typically provide either short unpaid leave mandated by the firm, as in the US, or more generous and universal leave mandated by the government, as in Canada and several European countries. Key economic policy questions include whether, at the macro level, female employment rates have increased due to parental leave policies; and, at the micro level, whether the probability of returning to work and career prospects have increased for mothers after childbirth.
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  • Sep 16, 2022 - Sep 17, 2022

    5th IDSC of IZA Workshop: Matching Workers and Jobs Online - New Developments and Opportunities for Social Science and Practice

    Online

    Like many forms of economic exchange, the process of matching workers to jobs has rapidly migrated online in the last two decades. Thus, understanding how online labor matching mechanisms work; how they affect economic outcomes like employment, wages and inequality; and learning how to take advantages of the ‘big data’ that are generated by online markets all have important implications for the future of labor. 

  • Sep 22, 2022 - Sep 23, 2022

    IZA Workshop on Labor Market Institutions

    Online

    The aim of the meeting is to bring together senior and junior researchers to discuss their most recent research related to labor market institutions.

  • Sep 26, 2022

    2nd IZA Workshop: Climate Change and Human Wellbeing

    Online

    In addition to causing damages to the environment and human health, climate change as well as adaptation to global warming pose challenges for the functioning of society and of labor markets. In particular, this raises questions about the implications of climate change for a range of wellbeing and labor market outcomes, among others health, income, happiness, productivity, human capital formation, migration decisions, and much else.

  • Sep 28, 2022 - Sep 30, 2022

    7th IZA Workshop on the Economics of Education

    Online

    The keynote speaker will be Sandra E. Black (Columbia University and IZA). In addition to keynote and presentations in plenary or parallel sessions, we will have an invited international policy panel featuring Katrine V. Loken (NHH and IZA), Michela Carlana (Harvard Kennedy School and IZA), Dinand Webbink (Erasmus University Rotterdam and IZA) and Jack Mountjoy (University of Chicago) to discuss chances and benefits for education research and policy-making that arise from access to administrative data.

  • Oct 06, 2022 - Oct 07, 2022

    17th IZA & 4th IZA/CREST Conference: Labor Market Policy Evaluation

    Online

    The Program Committee invites submissions for about 12 presentations from academic researchers doing program evaluation research on policy issues related to the labor market. Papers that include innovative approaches or methodological contributions are of particular interest. The deadline for paper submission is June 30, 2022.

  • Oct 25, 2022 - Oct 26, 2022

    3rd LISER Conference: Labour markets during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

    Nuremberg, Germany

    The purpose of this workshop is to bring together researchers to present and discuss current work on the labour market consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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