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Policy Area Papers on Labour market reform



The Impact of Minimum Wage Legislation The Impact of Minimum Wage Legislation
Julian Gough, World Economics, March 2017
Minimum wage policies are powerful political tools, but the economic effects are unlikely to be in the interests of society as a whole. Wages should be left to the free operation of market forces. Minimum wage rate policies are only effective in low-wage industries: the ... More


How Managerial Incentives Affect Economic Performance How Managerial Incentives Affect Economic Performance
Andrew Smithers, World Economics, March 2016
The impact of managerial incentive structures on corporate behaviour has been a neglected area of economics. New theoretical work by Nobel Prize winning economist Jean Tirole demonstrates that ‘bonus culture’ managerial incentive systems can increase inequality while lo ... More


Youth Employment Crisis in India Youth Employment Crisis in India
Swati Dutta, World Economics, March 2016
The global financial crisis and the subsequent uneven recovery have underscored the need for Africa’s resilience to output and other shocks originated in the rest of the world. A comparison of two regional economic communities – the East African Community (EAC) and the ... More


Offshoring and the Labour Share in Germany and US Offshoring and the Labour Share in Germany and US: The Role of Different Policy Regimes
Deborah Winkler & William Milberg, World Economics, December 2015
Despite broad public concern with the effect of offshoring on inequality, there is scant research. The authors shift the focus to the effect of offshoring on the labour share in value added. Regression analysis for a sample of 14 OECD countries in 21 manufacturing secto ... More


Demystifying Youth Unemployment Demystifying Youth Unemployment
Terence Tse, Mark Esposito & Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, World Economics, September 2013
Youth unemployment has become an ever increasing serious socio-economic problem, which deserves far more attention that it has so far received. In this article, we examine the causes of this issue. They include 1) countries losing the ability to compete effectively and ... More


Alternative Strategies for Fighting Unemployment Alternative Strategies for Fighting Unemployment: Lessons from the European experience
Gilles Saint-Paul, World Economics, March 2008
During more than three decades of protracted high unemployment, European countries have developed a variety of approaches in order to tackle the problem. These strategies differ in their philosophy, scopes and successes. A number of them can be understood in terms of sh ... More


Labour Standards and International Trade Labour Standards and International Trade
Krisztina Kis-Katos & Günther G. Schulze, World Economics, December 2002
Can a case be made for the imposition of international minimum labour standards? And if so, on what grounds? The authors systematically present the existing theoretical and empirical arguments for and against introducing minimum labour standards on the international ... More


Child Labour Child Labour: Theory, policy and evidence
Saqib Jafarey & Sajal Lahiri, World Economics, March 2001
The purpose of this paper is to pull together the emerging theoretical and empirical literature on the economics of child labour, and to draw out the underlying commonalities between various contributions in this field. In doing so, the authors also identify various ... More


Eastern Enlargement and EU Labour Markets Eastern Enlargement and EU Labour Markets: Perceptions, challenges and opportunities
Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, World Economics, March 2001
This paper summarises the key findings of a recent study on the impact of Eastern Enlargement of the European Union (EU) on labour markets in the current Member States. The study focuses on three main channels along which enlargement may affect labour markets in the ... More


The US “Underclass” in a Booming Economy The US “Underclass” in a Booming Economy
Richard B. Freeman, World Economics, June 2000
The main failure in the US economy in the 1980s through the mid 1990s was its inability to distribute the gains of economic growth to the bulk of the population. The traditional “rising tide lifts all boats” link between economic growth and poverty seemed broken, creati ... More


Understanding Labour Market Institutions Understanding Labour Market Institutions
Gilles Saint-Paul, World Economics, June 2000
Labour market rigidities are often considered to be responsible for high unemployment in Europe. This paper outlines a theory explaining why they may be supported by the political system, and where their support comes from. Labour market rigidities are likely to arise ... More


Poles Apart Poles Apart: Labour market performance and the distribution of work across households
Paul Gregg, Kirstine Hansen & Jonathan Wadsworth, World Economics, June 2000
Analysis of labour market performance using individual level data can reach radically different conclusions to those provided by a household-based analysis, using the same source of information. In Britain and other OECD countries the number of households without access ... More


The Thirty-five Hour Working Week The Thirty-five Hour Working Week: Flexibilité, compétitivité, productivité-a French Revolution
Alan Kirman, World Economics, June 2000
The introduction of a reduced working week (RWW) in France has been widely condemned as an arbitrary additional constraint in an already rigid labour market. This article explores the origins of the law, and the reasons for the negative appreciation by economists of thi ... More


Welfare-to-work and the New Deal Welfare-to-work and the New Deal
Richard Layard, World Economics, June 2000
Welfare-to-work is on trial in many countries. In Britain it has become the
government’s most important policy for lowering unemployment and expanding
labour supply. But can it work? And what lessons does Britain’s experience
provide for other countries? ... More