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
Immigrants’ occupational mobility—Down and back up again
The occupational status of most immigrants initially declines but then increases
Evidence suggests that immigrants face an initial decline in their occupational status when they enter the host country labor market but that their position improves as they acquire more country-specific human, cultural, and occupational capital. High-skilled immigrants from countries that are economically, linguistically, and culturally different from the host country experience the greatest decline and the steepest subsequent increase in their occupational status. In the context of sharp international competition to attract high-skilled immigrants, this adjustment pattern is contradictory and discourages potential high-skilled migrants.
Should countries auction immigrant visas? Updated
Selling the right to immigrate to the highest bidders would allocate visas efficiently but might raise ethical concernsMadeline Zavodny , March 2023Many immigrant destination countries face considerable pressure to change their immigration policies. One of the most innovative policies is auctioning the right to immigrate or to hire a foreign worker to the highest bidders. Visa auctions would be more efficient than current ways of allocating visas, could boost the economic contribution of immigration to the destination country, and would increase government revenues. However, visa auctions might weaken the importance of family ties in the migration process and create concerns about fairness and accessibility. No country has yet auctioned visas, although several have considered doing so.MoreLess
Alternative dispute resolution Updated
Promoting accurate bargainer expectations regarding outcomes from binding dispute resolution is worth the effortDavid L. Dickinson , March 2023Alternative dispute resolution procedures such as arbitration and mediation are the most common methods for resolving wage, contract, and grievance disputes, but they lead to varying levels of success and acceptability of the outcome depending on their design. Some innovative procedures, not yet implemented in the real world, are predicted to improve on existing procedures in some ways. Controlled tests of several procedures show that the simple addition of a nonbinding stage prior to binding dispute resolution can produce the best results in terms of cost (monetary and “uncertainty” costs) and acceptability.MoreLess
The labor market in Poland, 2000−2021 Updated
Employment has been rising, but disadvantaged groups and low participation of older people pose challengesPiotr LewandowskiIga Magda , March 2023In the early 2000s, Poland's unemployment rate reached 20%. That is now a distant memory, as employment has increased noticeably and the unemployment rate had dropped to 3.4% in 2021. The labor force participation of older workers increased following reforms aimed at prolonging careers. However, participation remains low compared to most developed countries and the reversal of the statutory retirement age in 2017 leaves Poland vulnerable to the effects of population aging. Rising immigration has eased the resulting labor shortages, but women, people with disabilities, and agricultural workers remain underemployed. During the Covid-19 pandemic the slowdown in economic growth and increase in unemployment were small.MoreLess
Evaluating apprenticeship training programs for firms
Cost–benefit surveys of employers help design more effective training policiesSamuel MuehlemannHarald Pfeifer , March 2023Apprenticeship training programs typically last several years and require substantial investments by training firms, largely due to the associated labor costs for participants and instructors. Nevertheless, apprentices also add significant value in the workplace. One tool to measure the costs and benefits of training for firms is employer surveys, which were first introduced in the 1970s in Germany. Such cost–benefit surveys (CBS) help to better understand a firm's demand for apprentices and to identify market failures. Therefore, CBS are an important tool for designing effective training policies.MoreLess
Hours vs employment in response to demand shocks Updated
Evaluating the labor market effects of temporary aggregate demand shocks requires analyzing both employment and hours of workRobert A. Hart , February 2023The responses of working hours and employment levels to temporary negative demand shocks like those caused by the Great Recession in 2007–2008 and the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020–2022 have shown that consideration of both is important. Workers’ desired rises in working hours in times of recession also serve to modify the standard measure of unemployment. During Covid-19, both jobs and earnings were temporarily protected among workers forced into short-time work schemes, providing a useful comparison with the provision of improved unemployment insurance to unemployed workers at that time.MoreLess
Air pollution and worker productivity Updated
Higher levels of air pollution reduce worker productivity, even when air quality is generally lowMatthew NeidellNico Pestel , February 2023Environmental regulations are typically considered to be a drag on the economy. However, improved environmental quality may actually enhance productivity by creating a healthier workforce. Evidence suggests that improvements in air quality lead to improvements in worker productivity at the micro level across a range of sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and the service sectors, as well as at more aggregate macro levels. These effects also arise at levels of air quality that are below pollution thresholds in countries with the highest levels of environmental regulation. The findings suggest a new approach for understanding the consequences of environmental regulations.MoreLess
Temperature, productivity, and income
Rising temperatures due to climate change could dampen productivity growth for decadesOlivier Deschenes , February 2023Climate change is rapidly deteriorating environmental conditions through droughts and floods, hurricanes, wildfires, rising temperatures, and more frequent and longer heatwaves. A growing literature has shown how higher temperatures reduce worker productivity and economic output. These effects are more pronounced in poorer countries and in climate-exposed economic sectors like agriculture, construction, and manufacturing. The development of new technologies that mitigate exposure to heat among workers, combined with better temperature control in the workplace, will be essential to reduce the economic burden of climate change.MoreLess
Female poverty and intrahousehold inequality in transition economies Updated
An unequal distribution of resources within the family is a special concern for female povertyLuca Piccoli , February 2023Transition to a market economy is accompanied by a period of greater economic uncertainty. Women are likely to suffer substantial disadvantages from this uncertainty compared to men as they are, for example, more likely to lose their job. This not only implies a monetary loss for the entire family, but also degrades female bargaining power within the household, possibly further aggravating their well-being. When intrahousehold inequality—an unequal distribution of resources among family members—exists, female poverty might be significantly larger than what can be deduced using standard household-based poverty measures.MoreLess
Mar 28, 2023
Will ChatGPT take your job?; Most trans adults are happier after transitioningToday’s global news summary brings news affecting the globe, the US, and Germany, and discusses issues as diverse as AI, happiness, and strikes.
Mar 14, 2023
Honduran president legalizes morning-after pill; Students unable to cope with financial pressures face dropping outToday’s global news summary brings news affecting Honduras, the UK, and China, and discusses issues as diverse as contraception, student poverty, and falling birthrates.
Mar 07, 2023
Gender equality still 300 years away; Lack of affordable childcare is forcing UK women out of workToday’s global news summary brings news affecting the UK, France and the world, and discusses issues as diverse as women’s employment, gender equality, and pension reforms.
Feb 21, 2023
England’s RFU announces new maternity policy; Company in US fined for illegally employing childrenToday’s global news summary brings news affecting England, the US, and the UK, and discusses issues as diverse as maternity leave, child labor, and the four-day week.
May 12, 2023 - May 13, 2023
SOLE Annual Meeting
Philadelphia, United States
The Society of Labor Economists will hold its Twenty-Eighth Annual Meetings May 12–13, 2023, at the Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square.
Jun 29, 2023 - Jul 04, 2023
24th IZA Summer School in Labor Economics
The Summer School gives you an opportunity to learn from leading researchers about the latest advances in labor economics. In addition, the accompanying student presentations and mentoring sessions will provide a great platform for you to showcase your research and get valuable feedback.
Jul 05, 2023 - Jul 06, 2023
25th Anniversary IZA Conference in Labor Economics
The conference will feature keynotes by Ayşegül Şahin and Patrick Kline, as well as about 15 plenary presentations and a poster session. The conference will conclude with a panel discussion on the German labor market featuring leading policymakers and labor economists (Application deadline: March 15, 2023).
IZA World of Labor discussion on higher education
IZA World of Labor discussion on the environment and the labor market
IZA World of Labor discussion on inflation and the labor market
IZA World of Labor panel on the macroeconomics of labor productivity
IZA World of Labor video on inequality and post transition in emerging economies
IZA World of Labor discussion on labor market evaluation
IZA World of Labor discussion on the economics of education
IZA World of Labor discussion on labor market institutions
IZA World of Labor discussion on measuring poverty with Bruce D. Meyer
IZA World of Labor panel discussion on environment and health
IZA World of Labor panel discussion on gender and family issues
IZA World of Labor panel discussion on migration issues
The direct and indirect effects of online job search advice
Ranking the happiness of countries and states
Telework during the Covid-19 pandemic