Spotlight on: Social protection and sustainable development
October 24, 2015 is World Development Information Day, established in 1975 by the UN to raise global awareness of development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them. In its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN wants to ensure that “all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.” They propose to do this through 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which, if backed internationally, will transform the world into one without inequality and poverty. According to the UN and the ILO, the time to act is now.
Social protection policies have a role to play here, as they can be a tool for boosting human capital and supporting inclusive growth. Our author Lisa Cameron highlights the pressing need to design social protection programs to benefit poor women in developing countries. Women are more likely than men to work in the informal sector and to drop out of the labor force for a time, often due to childbirth. Although many developing countries have introduced social protection programs to protect those in poverty, the programs are generally less accessible to women than to men despite the often greater need of women. Visit IZA World of Labor for more articles on labor economics and development.
News and views in labor economics
Do case workers really help the unemployed? Read an interview with Michael Rosholm, our newly appointed Subject Editor for Program Evaluation, on whether he believes case workers are successful at bringing people back into employment.
In his article Class size: Does it matter for student achievement?, Christopher Jepsen finds that although smaller classes are associated with increased student achievement, a few high-quality studies find no relationship. He concludes that other education policies such as tutoring, early childhood programs, or improving teacher quality would be better investments.
Recent evidence shows that participation in active labor market programs reduces crime among unemployed young men, writes Torben Tranaes in his new article Active labor market policies and crime. These effects could explain why it is the income-redistributing countries with greater income equality that spend the most on active labor market programs.