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.

 

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The role of cognitive and socio-emotional skills in labor markets
Cognitive skills are more relevant in explaining earnings, socio-emotional skills in determining labor supply and schooling

Pablo Acosta | Noël Muller

Common proxies, such as years of education, have been shown to be ineffective at capturing cross-country differences in skills acquisition, as well as the role they play in the labor market. A large body of research shows that direct measures of skills, in particular cognitive and socio-emotional ones, provide more adequate estimations of individuals’ differences in potential productive capacity than the quantity of education they receive. Evidence shows that cognitive skills in particular are quite relevant to explain wages, while socio-emotional skills are more associated with labor force and education participation decisions.

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  • Rethinking the skills gap Updated

    Better understanding of skills mismatch is essential to finding effective policy options

    Evidence suggests that productivity would be much higher and unemployment much lower if the supply of and demand for skills were better matched. As a result, skills mismatch between workers (supply) and jobs (demand) commands the ongoing attention of policymakers in many countries. Policies intended to address the persistence of skills mismatch focus on the supply side of the issue by emphasizing worker education and training. However, the role of the demand side, that is, employers’ rigid skill requirements, garners comparatively little policy attention.
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  • Climate change, natural disasters, and migration Updated

    The relationship between climate change, natural disasters, and migration is not straightforward and presents many complexities

    The relationship between climatic shocks, climate related disasters, and migration has received increasing attention in recent years and is quite controversial. One view suggests that climate change and its associated natural disasters increase migration. An alternative view suggests that climate change may only have marginal effects on migration. Knowing whether climate change and natural disasters lead to more migration is crucial to better understand the different channels of transmission between climatic shocks and migration and to formulate evidence-based policy recommendations for the efficient management of the consequences of natural disasters.
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  • Employers and the gender wage gap

    Sorting across workplaces, and unequal rewards within them, are major causes of the gender wage gap

    In most developed countries, women have closed the gap in educational attainment and labor market experience, yet gender wage gaps persist. This has led to an increased focus on the role of employers and employment practices. In particular, research has focused on the types of workplace where men and women work, their promotion prospects and the extent to which they are rewarded differently for similar work. Understanding the relative importance of these features, and the mechanisms that generate them, is necessary to design effective policy responses.
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  • How are minimum wages set? Updated

    Countries set minimum wages in different ways, and some countries set different wages for different groups of workers

    Richard Dickens , September 2023
    The minimum wage has never been as high on the political agenda as it is today, with politicians in Germany, the UK, the US, and other OECD countries implementing substantial increases in the rate. One reason for the rising interest is the growing consensus among economists and policymakers that minimum wages, set at the right level, may help low paid workers without harming employment prospects. But how should countries set their minimum wage rate? The processes that countries use to set their minimum wage rate and structure differ greatly, as do the methods for adjusting it. The different approaches have merits and shortcomings.
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  • Dec 15, 2023 - Dec 16, 2023

    G²LM|LIC & BREAD Conference on Development Economics

    Nairobi, Kenya

    The IZA/FCDO Gender, Growth and Labor Markets in Low-Income Countries Programme (G²LM|LIC) and the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) are pleased to announce a joint Conference on Development Economics .The conference will consist of presentations of advanced stage research by senior or junior researchers, and presentations of early stage research by junior researchers.

  • Jan 15, 2024 - Mar 18, 2024

    IZA/FCDO ONLINE Development Economics Course

    Online

    This course addresses the question of why fundamentally equal humans living in different countries enjoy very different standards of living. The aim of this course is to make the very latest research in economics on these issues accessible to anyone who is sufficiently curious about it. It is modeled after the award-winning undergraduate development course at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and, like its model, it is entirely based on research articles.