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.

featured article

Is unconditional basic income a viable alternative to other social welfare measures?

Countries give basic education and health care to everyone, and for good reasons—why not basic income?

Ugo Colombino

Globalization and automation have brought about a tremendous increase in productivity, with enormous benefits, but also a dramatic reallocation of jobs, skills, and incomes, which might jeopardize the full realization of those benefits. Current social policies may not be adequate to successfully redistribute the gains from automation and globalization or to advance the reallocation of jobs and skills. Under certain circumstances, an unconditional basic income might be a better alternative for achieving these goals. It is simple, transparent, and has low administrative costs, though it may require higher taxes or a cut/reallocation of other public expenditures.

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  • Obesity and labor market outcomes Updated

    The hidden private costs of obesity: lower earnings and a lower probability of employment

    Susan L. Averett, August 2019
    Rising obesity is a pressing global public health problem responsible for rising health care costs and in some countries one of the leading causes of preventable deaths. There is substantial evidence that obese people are less likely to be employed and, when employed, earn lower wages. There is some evidence that the lower earnings are a result of discriminatory hiring and sorting into jobs with less customer contact. Understanding whether obesity is associated with adverse labor market outcomes and ascertaining the source of these outcomes are essential for designing effective public policy.
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  • Women in crime Updated

    Over the last 50 years women have been increasing their participation in the labor market and in the crime market

    Nadia Campaniello, July 2019
    In recent decades, women's participation in the labor market has increased considerably in most countries and is converging toward the participation rate of men. Though on a lesser scale, a similar movement toward gender convergence seems to be occurring in the criminal world, though many more men than women still engage in criminal activity. Technological progress and social norms have freed women from the home, increasing their participation in both the labor and the crime market. With crime no longer just men's business, it is important to investigate female criminal behavior to determine whether the policy prescriptions to reduce crime should differ for women.
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  • The labor market in Japan, 2000–2018 Updated

    Despite a plummeting working-age population, Japan has sustained its labor force size because of surging employment among women

    As the third-largest economy in the world and a precursor of global trends in population aging, Japan's recent experiences provide important lessons regarding how demographic shifts affect the labor market and individuals’ economic well-being. On the whole, the labor market showed a remarkable stability during the financial crisis, despite decades of economic stagnation and sluggish real wage growth. Rapid population aging, however, has brought substantial changes to individuals in the labor market, most notably women, by augmenting labor demand in the healthcare services industry.
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  • Measuring income inequality

    Summary measures of inequality differ from one another and give different pictures of the evolution of economic inequality over time

    Ija Trapeznikova, July 2019
    Economists use various metrics for measuring income inequality. Here, the most commonly used measures—the Lorenz curve, the Gini coefficient, decile ratios, the Palma ratio, and the Theil index—are discussed in relation to their benefits and limitations. Equally important is the choice of what to measure: pre-tax and after-tax income, consumption, and wealth are useful indicators; and different sources of income such as wages, capital gains, taxes, and benefits can be examined. Understanding the dimensions of economic inequality is a key first step toward choosing the right policies to address it.
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  • Sep 06, 2019 - Sep 07, 2019

    IZA Workshop on Labor Market Institutions

    IZA, Bonn

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

  • Sep 20, 2019 - Sep 21, 2019

    2nd IDSC of IZA/CAIS Workshop: Matching Workers and Jobs Online

    Bochum, Germany

  • Sep 23, 2019 - Sep 25, 2019

    4th IZA Workshop on the Economics of Education

    IZA, Bonn

    The aim of the workshop is to bring together about 25 researchers working on the economics of education.

  • Sep 26, 2019 - Sep 27, 2019

    3rd IZA/HSE Workshop on Skills and Preferences and Labor Market Outcomes in Post-transition and Emerging Economies

    St. Petersburg, Russia

    Most empirical research on skills (cognitive and non-cognitive) and preferences has largely relied on data from high-income, industrialized countries. There is, however, a growing literature that extends this line of research to post-transition and emerging economies, which may be of particular scientific interest because it gives the opportunity to study contexts with a much wider variability of conditions.

  • Oct 07, 2019

    2019 joint Cedefop and OECD Symposium: The next steps for Apprenticeship

    Paris, France

    The joint Cedefop/OECD symposium on apprenticeship brings together policy makers, practitioners and researchers from around the world to consider new research exploring the next steps for apprenticeship provision. The symposium organisers would welcome contributions on how apprenticeship provision is changing or would need to change in response to external mega trends, such as socio-demographic and socio-economic changes, new technologies and labour market changes, new forms of work organisation, trends in education and training.

  • Oct 21, 2019 - Oct 25, 2019

    IFS at 50: The future of income in retirement

    London, United Kingdom

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, and to mark the occasion they will be holding a series of events throughout the year where they draw on this experience to consider these big issues and discuss what evidence-based analysis can tell us about how to understand and respond to them. Events in this series will feature expert insight from IFS researchers and key commentators on each topic, and there will be plenty of time for discussion and debate.

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