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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The impact of monitoring and sanctioning on unemployment exit and job-finding rates 


Job search monitoring and benefit sanctions generally reduce unemployment duration and boost entry to employment in the short term

Duncan McVicar

Unemployment benefits reduce incentives to search for a job. Policymakers have responded to this behavior by setting minimum job search requirements, by monitoring to check that unemployment benefit recipients are engaged in the appropriate level of job search activity, and by imposing sanctions for infractions. Empirical studies consistently show that job search monitoring and benefit sanctions reduce unemployment duration and increase job entry in the short term. However, there is some evidence that longer-term effects of benefit sanctions may be negative.

  • Offshoring and labor markets in developing countries

    Lessons learned and questions remaining about offshoring and labor markets in developing countries

    Arnab K. BasuNancy H. Chau , September 2022
    Developing countries are often seen as unquestionable beneficiaries in the phenomenal rise of global value chains in international trade. Offshoring—the cross-border trade in intermediate goods and services which facilitate country-level specialization in subsets of production tasks—enables an early start in global trade integration even when the requisite technology and knowhow for cost-effective production from scratch to finish are not yet acquired. A growing economics literature suggests a more nuanced view, however. Policymakers should be mindful of issues related to inequality across firms and wages, labor standards, and effects of trade policy.
  • Digital leadership: Motivating online workers

    Which leadership techniques and tools should digital leaders use to communicate effectively with remote teams and gig workers?

    Petra Nieken , September 2022
    Remote work and digital collaborations are prevalent in the business world and many employees use digital communication tools routinely in their jobs. Communication shifts from face-to-face meetings to asynchronous formats using text, audio, or video messages. This shift leads to a reduction of information and signals leaders can send and receive. Do classical leadership and communication techniques such as transformational or charismatic leadership signaling still work in those online settings or do leaders have to rely on transactional leadership techniques such as contingent reward and punishment tools in the remote setting?
  • How is new technology changing job design? Updated

    Machines’ ability to perform cognitive, physical, and social tasks is advancing, dramatically changing jobs and labor markets

    The IT revolution has had dramatic effects on jobs and the labor market. Many routine manual and cognitive tasks have been automated, replacing workers. By contrast, new technologies complement and create new non-routine cognitive and social tasks, making work in such tasks more productive, and creating new jobs. This has polarized labor markets: while low-skill jobs stagnated, there are fewer and lower-paid jobs for middle-skill workers, and higher pay for high-skill workers, increasing wage inequality. Advances in AI may accelerate computers’ ability to perform cognitive tasks, heightening concerns about future automation of even high-skill jobs.
  • 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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  • Sep 26, 2022

    2nd IZA Workshop: Climate Change and Human Wellbeing


    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


    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


    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.

  • Oct 27, 2022 - Oct 28, 2022

    Inequality in Post-Transition and Emerging Economies


    The workshop, organized by IZA, will focus on the determinants of inequality in post-transition and emerging economies.

  • Dec 14, 2022 - Dec 15, 2022

    6th IZA/World Bank/NJD/UNU-WIDER Jobs and Development Conference: The Challenge of Creating Better Jobs in Developing Countries

    Cape Town, South Africa

    The event will focus on policy-relevant research, applicable to identifying solutions to jobs challenges in low- and middle-income countries.