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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Trans people, well-being, and labor market outcomes

Transitioning across gender is related to greater life and job satisfaction but also affects acceptance in one’s society

Nick Drydakis

Acceptance of one’s gender identity and congruence between one’s gender identity and outward appearance are associated with less adverse mental health symptoms, and greater life and job satisfaction. However, trans people are subject to human rights violations, hate crimes, and experience higher unemployment and poverty than the general population. Trans people often feel that they are citizens who are not allowed to be themselves and practice their authentic identity. Many biased treatments of trans people could be attenuated if legal protections and inclusive workplace practices were in place.

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  • The impact of legalizing unauthorized immigrants Updated

    While legalization benefits most unauthorized immigrants, deciding how to regularize them is challenging

    Countries have adopted a variety of legalization programs to address unauthorized immigration. Research in the US finds improved labor market outcomes for newly authorized immigrants. Findings are more mixed for European and Latin American countries where informal labor markets play a large role and programs are often small scale. Despite unclear labor market outcomes and mixed public support, legalization will likely continue to be widely used. Comprehensive legislation can address the complex nature of legalization on immigrants and on native-born residents.
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  • Immigrants in the classroom and effects on native children Updated

    Having immigrant children in the classroom may sometimes, but not always, harm educational outcomes of native children

    Peter Jensen, April 2021
    Many countries are experiencing increasing inflows of immigrant students. This raises concerns that having a large share of students for whom the host country language is not their first language may have detrimental effects on the educational outcomes of native children. However, the evidence is mixed, with some studies finding negative effects, and others finding no effects. Whether higher concentrations of immigrant students have an effect on native students differs across countries according to factors such as organization of the school system and the type of immigrants.
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  • Inequality and informality in transition and emerging countries Updated

    A bidirectional relationship between informality and inequality exists; in transition and emerging countries, higher informality decreases inequality

    Roberto Dell'Anno, April 2021
    Higher inequality reduces capital accumulation and increases the informal economy, which creates additional employment opportunities for low-skilled and deprived people. As a result, informal employment leads to beneficial effects on income distribution by providing sources of income for unemployed and marginalized workers. Despite this positive feedback, informality raises problems for public finances and biases official statistics, reducing the effectiveness of redistributive policies. Policymakers should consider the links between inequality and informality because badly designed informality-reducing policies may increase inequality.
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  • Low-wage employment Updated

    Are low-paid jobs stepping stones to higher-paid jobs, do they become persistent, or do they lead to recurring unemployment?

    Claus Schnabel, March 2021
    Low-wage employment has become an important feature of the labor market and a controversial topic for debate in many countries. How to interpret the prominence of low-paid jobs and whether they are beneficial to workers or society is still an open question. The answer depends on whether low-paid jobs are largely transitory and serve as stepping stones to higher-paid employment, whether they become persistent, or whether they result in repeated unemployment. The empirical evidence is mixed, pointing to both stepping-stone effects and “scarring” effects (i.e. long-lasting detrimental effects) of low-paid work.
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  • May 28, 2021 - May 29, 2021

    17th IZA Annual Migration Meeting

    Online

    The 17th Annual Migration Meeting is following a long and successful tradition of bringing together experienced scholars and talented young economists to discuss cutting-edge work on migration.

  • Jun 17, 2021 - Jun 18, 2021

    8th IZA Workshop: Environment, Health and Labor Markets

    Online

    The aim of the 2021 workshop of IZA's Environment, Health, and Labor Markets program area is to bring together researchers analyzing the impact of environmental factors and health policies on labor market outcomes, human capital outcomes, industrial activity, production decisions and demographic outcomes.

  • Jun 30, 2021

    4th IZA/Higher School of Economics Workshop: Thirty Years after the Fall of the Iron Curtain: The Contribution of Labor Market Adjustment to Transition and Convergence

    Online

    This is an updated call for papers as the workshop planned for 2020 was cancelled due the COVID-19 crisis. We still would like to keep the overall theme developed for 2020, but we also intend to include two sessions that deal with the impact of COVID-19 on labor markets in post-transition and emerging economies.

  • Jul 05, 2021

    First IZA Workshop: Climate Change and Labor Markets

    Online

    Despite efforts to mitigate the extent of climate change, exposure to extreme events such as heatwaves, floods, and hurricanes will become more prevalent for the entire world’s population. 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 labor markets. In particular, this raises questions about the implications of climate change for a range of labor market outcomes, among others human capital formation, migration decisions, location decisions of firms, labor supply and productivity of workers, and labor demand across occupations.

  • Jul 08, 2021 - Jul 09, 2021

    20th IZA/SOLE Transatlantic Meeting of Labor Economists (TAM)

    Online

    Kevin Lang (Boston University and IZA), President of the Society of Labor Economists (SOLE) and Daniel S. Hamermesh (Barnard College and IZA), IZA Network Director will attend the meeting and will share some thoughts with about the 20 years of the IZA/SOLE Transatlantic Meeting of Labor Economists. In addition, two participants from the very first IZA/SOLE meeting Petra Todd (University of Pennsylvania and IZA) and Coen Teulings (University of Cambridge and IZA) have agreed to present new work at this year’s meeting again.

  • Sep 03, 2021 - Sep 04, 2021

    IZA Workshop: Labor Market Institutions

    Online

    We are pleased to invite submissions for the next IZA Workshop on Labor Market Institutions. The aim of the meeting is to bring together senior and junior researchers to discuss their most recent research related to labor market institutions.

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