Jobs and Development Conference – World Bank Jobs Group and Network on Jobs and Development


Martin Ravallion (Georgetown University) and 80+ speakers
2 - 3 November 2016 (Hong Kong time, GMT +8)
The World Bank Headquarters

This conference is organized in conjunction with the World Bank Jobs Group and the Network on Jobs and Development, which is a network of five research institutes from various regions of the world and includes the Development Policy Research Unit at University of Cape Town (DPRU, South Africa), the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER, India), the Institute for Structural Research (IBS, Poland), the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA), and HKUST IEMS.

Find out more about IEMS' role in the Network on Jobs and Development here.

The aim of the conference is to present and discuss the latest policy-relevant research to foster the creation of multi-sector, multi-disciplinary solutions to jobs challenges around the world based on research and empirical evidence. In addition to the regular sessions in all fields of labor economics and development, special sessions on Jobs, Structural Transformations, Technology and Regulations will be featured.

Conference website:

The Conference Program can be found here.

The event report is available here.

Jobs and Development Conference – World Bank Jobs Group and Network on Jobs and Development

More Conference photos can be found here

Key Insights from the Conference

On November 2-3, 2016 in Washington, D.C., the Network on Jobs and Development and the World Bank Jobs Group held a two-day conference to discuss the latest policy-relevant research to foster the creation of multi-sector, multi-disciplinary solutions to jobs challenges around the world. The Jobs and Development conference involved 80 speakers from all continents, and was joined by over 200 participants. Besides invited papers, 32 high-quality papers were accepted from the call for papers which drew more than 150 submissions.

The conference covered a wide-range of issues, from job creation in conflict affected or fragile states, to gender and skills, to technical progress and structural change, to many aspects of labour regulation. Click the topics below to reveal the corresponding insights presented at the conference:

  • Labour Policy in Underdeveloped Economies  
    The conference’s plenary sessions bookended each day. Each session gave a chance to prominent academics, policy influencers and business leaders to sound-off on crucial issues.In his keynote talk, Martin Ravallion (Edmond D. Villani Professor of Economics at Georgetown University) introduced Indian poverty reduction. Prof. Ravallion used historical examples to explore how policy outcomes were not always the same as policy goals, to some extent because of a slow pace of labour absorption from agriculture. He showed that in pre-1991 India, urban growth had no effect on poverty reduction, but after 1991 it was the urban sector that had the largest effect on poverty reduction, both in urban and rural areas. While there has been rising inequality within rural and urban areas, growth within sectors has delivered sufficient gains for the poor to help them get out of poverty. Haroon Bhorat (Development Policy Research Unit at University of Cape Town) presented a systematic discussion of minimum wages in Africa. Although widespread informal employment and lagging urbanization meant that the poorest and most vulnerable workers were often unaffected by minimum wage policies, the low income countries have often been setting rather high minimum wages. Prof. Bhorat stressed the importance of enforcement of policies, but also cautioned that even with high informality and non-compliance, minimum wage policy may affect wages below the statutory minima because of spillover effects.
  • Refugee migration in Europe and Labour Geography in Asia
  • Job Creation in Emerging Economies
  • Skills in Transition: China and Latin America
  • The Nuances of Labour Regulations
  • Compliance
  • Informality
  • Technology, Jobs and Structural Change
  • Employment Oriented Interventions
  • Opportunity, Equality and Work
  • What Comes Next

Select Papers


Amelie F. Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann (Princeton University und UNU-MERIT) “Towards a new European refugee policy that works”

Rita Almeida (World Bank), Ana M. Fernandes (World Bank) and Mariana Viollaz (CEDLASFCE-UNLP) “ICT, Jobs and Task Content of Occupations in Chilean Firms

Emanuele Dicarlo (University of Zurich), Salvatore Lo Bello (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid), Sebastian Monroy-Taborda (World Bank & NORC University of Chicago), Ana Maria Oviedo (World Bank), Maria Laura Sanchez-Puerta (World Bank), Indhira Santos, (World Bank) “The Skill Content of Occupations across Low and Middle Income Countries: Evidence from Harmonized Data”

Prodyumna Goutam (Pardee RAND Graduate School), Italo A. Gutierrez (RAND Corporation), Krishna B. Kumar (RAND Corporation)and Shanthi Nataraj (RAND Corporation)“Growth and Informality: Evidence from Bangladesh

Nancy Claire Benjamin (World Bank) and Ahmadou Aly Mbaye (Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar Fran) “Informality: Engine of Structural Transformation? The Case of Francophone Africa”

Rajesh SN Raj (Department of Economics, Sikkim University, Gangtok, Sikkim 737102, India) and Kunal Sen (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations –
ICRIER)  “Informality in South Asia: Patterns, Determinants and Consequences”

Rudi Rocha (UFRJ), Gabriel Ulyssea (PUC-Rio), Laísa Rachter (FGV) “Do Lower Taxes Reduce Informality? Evidence from Brazil”

Pierella Paci (World Bank) and Michele Tuccio (World Bank) “Is Structural Transformation the Weak Link between Growth and Poverty Reduction in Africa?”

Achyuta Adhvaryu (University of Michigan & NBER), Namrata Kala (Harvard University) and Anant Nyshadham (Boston College) “Soft Skills to Pay the Bills: Evidence from Female Garment Workers”

Manoel Bittencourt (University of Pretoria) “Education and Fertility: Panel Time-Series Evidence from Southern Africa”

Ejaz Ghani, Arti Grover Goswami (World Bank), Sari Kerr, and William Kerr “Will Market Competition Trump Gender Discrimination in India?”

Teresa Molina (University of Southern California) “Pollution, Ability, and Gender-Specific Investment Responses to Shocks”

Héctor Gutiérrez Rufrancos (University of Sussex) “(You Gotta) Strike if the Right (Is the Party!) Strike Petitions, the Business Cycle and the Electoral Cycle in Mexico”

Ragui Assaad (University of Minnesota and Economic Research Forum) and Caroline Krafft (University of Minnesota) “Exploring the Changing Opportunity Structure for Employment among Youth in the Mena Region”

Claudio Mora-García (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana) and Tomás Rau (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) “Peer Effects in the Adoption of a New Employment Subsidy for Vulnerable Youths”

Karolina Goraus (University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland) and Piotr Lewandowski (Institute for Structural Research (IBS), Warsaw, Poland) “Minimum Wage Violation in Central and Eastern Europe”

Lucas Ronconi (Centro de Investigación y Acción Social (CIAS) and CONICET), Mercedes Sidders and Benjamin Stanwix “The Paradox of Labor Regulation (Political Economy Focus with Evidence by Firm Size)”

Ellen B. McCullough (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
Cornell University)  “Occupational Choice and Agricultural Labor Exits in Sub-Saharan Africa”

Haroon Bhorat, Francois Steenkamp (Development Policy Research Unit – DPRU) and Christopher Rooney “Africa’s Manufacturing Malaise: A Source of Unequal Growth?”

Ye, Xianjia (University of Groningen) “Industrial Structural Change and the Shifts in Comparative Advantage in Globalized Production”

Gretchen Donehower (University of California at Berkeley / NTA Network
Project Director, Counting Women’s Work) “Counting Women’s Work and Gender Dividends”

Pamela Jiménez-Fontana (Centro Centroamericano de Población and Programa Estado de la Nación de Costa Rica) “Gender Inequality in Intergenerational Flows in Costa Rica and Barriers to Labour Force Participation”

Morné Oosthuizen (University of Cape Town) “Gender and Work in the Market and Home: Counting Women’s Work in Africa”

Michał Brzeziński (University of Warsaw) and Iga Magda (Institute for Structural Research (IBS) and Warsaw School of Economics) “Inequality of Opportunity in Central and Eastern Europe: Accounting for Changes over Time”

Haroon Bhorat, Karmen Naidoo (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Kavisha Pillay “Income Inequality in Africa: The Unequal Seven”

Carlos Rodríguez-Castelán (World Bank), Luis F. López-Calva (World Bank), Nora Lustig (Latin American Economics and Tulane University) and Daniel Valderrama (World Bank)  “Understanding the Dynamics of Labor Income Inequality in Latin America”

Christopher Blattman (Columbia University) and Laura Ralston (World Bank)  “Generating Employment in Poor and Fragile States: Evidence from Labor Market and Entrepreneurship Programs”

Suzanne Duryea (Inter-American Development Bank, Washington DC), Carolina Gonzalez-Velosa (Inter-American Development Bank, Washington DC) and Andres Moya (School of Economics, University of Los Andes, Colombia) “Socioemotional Skills and Psychological Trauma: Evidence from a Labor Training Program for Young Victims of Violence in Colombia”

Emily Weedon Chapman (World Bank) “Household Enterprises in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States: Results from a Qualitative Toolkit Piloted in Liberia”

Simon DEAKIN and Prabirjit SARKAR (Jadavpur University, India and CBR, University of Cambridge, UK) “Does Labour Law Hurt Labour by Reducing Employment in Developed and Emerging Countries?”

Marianne Bertrand (University of Chicago Booth and NBER), Chang-Tai Hsieh
(University of Chicago Booth and NBER) and Nick Tsivanidis (University of Chicago Booth) “Contract Labor and Firm Growth in India”

Agnieszka Chłoń-Domińczak (Warsaw School of Economics) and Andrzej Żurawski “Measuring Skills Mismatches Revisited – Introducing Sectoral Approach”

Paloma Acevedo, Guillermo Cruces (CEDLAS-UNLP), Paul Gertler and Sebastián Martínez “Soft Skills and Hard Skills in Youth Training Programs Long Term Experimental Evidence from the Dominican Republic”

Pablo A. Egana del Sol (Columbia University) “Affective Neuroscience Meets Labor Economics: Assessing Non-Cognitive Skills on Late Stage Investment on At-Risk Youth”

María F. Prada (IADB) and Sergio Urzua (University of Maryland and NBER) “One Size Does Not Fit All: Multiple Dimensions of Ability, College Attendance and Wages”

Safia Khan (Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) University of Cape Town), Kezia Lilenstien (Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) University of Cape Town), Chris Rooney (Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) University of Cape Town) “Correlates of ICTs and Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa”

Francisco J. M. Costa (FGV/EPGE) and Francisco Lima (FGV/EPGE) “Environmental Regulation, Structural Transformation and Skilled Migration: Evidence from the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry”

Ruochen Dai (Peking University) and Xiaobo Zhang (Peking University, and IFPRI)  “E-commerce Expands the Bandwidth of Entrepreneurship”

Arnab K. Basu (Cornell University), Nancy H. Chau (Cornell University) and Vidhya Soundararajan (Cornell University and Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore)  “Wage Polarization and Contract Employment”

Iga Magda (Warsaw School of Economics and Institute for Structural Research (IBS)), David Marsden (Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science) and Simone Moriconi (Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica di Milano and Centre for Research in Economic
Analysis, Université du Luxembourg)  “Trade Unions and Wage Compression in Central and Eastern Europe”

T. H. Gindling (UMBC), Nadwa Mossaad (UMBC) and David Newhouse (World Bank) “Earnings Penalties and Premiums for Self-Employment and Informal Employees around the World”

Yanan Li(Department of Applied Economics & Management, Cornell University) and Yanyan Liu (Department of Applied Economics & Management, Cornell University) “Does Participating in Public Works Increase Wage Bargaining Power in Private Sectors? Evidence from National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India”

Bruno Crépon (CREST) “Short and Medium-Term Impacts of Public Works and Complementary Training on Youth in Côte d’Ivoire”

Jochen Kluve (Humboldt University Berlin and RWI), Susana Puerto (International Labour Organization), David Robalino (World Bank), Jose Manuel Romero (World Bank), Friederike Rother (World Bank), Jonathan Stöterau (Humboldt University Berlin and RWI), Felix Weidenkaff (International Labour Organization) and Marc Witte (University of Oxford.) “Do Youth Employment Programs Improve Labor Market Outcomes? A Systematic Review”

Giulia Lotti (Inter-American Development Bank), Julian Messina (University of Padua) and Luca Nunziata (IZA) “Minimum Wages and Informal Employment in Developing Countries”

Jorge Eduardo Pérez Pérez (Brown University) “Minimum Wages in Formal and Informal Sectors: Evidence from the Colombian Crisis”

Dilaka Lathapipat (World Bank) and Cecilia Poggi (University of Sussex) “From Many to One: Minimum Wage Effects in Thailand”

Mariano Bosch (Inter-American Development Bank – IDB) “Demography and Pensions in Latin America and the Caribbean”

João Bevilaqua T. Basto (World Bank), Mark A. Dutz (World Bank), Lucas Ferreira Mation  (Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA)) and Stephen D. O’Connell (Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)) “Can Program Design Improve the Effectiveness of Worker Retraining? An Evaluation of Brazil’s Pronatec-MDIC”

Paweł Kaczmarczyk (University of Warsaw), Agnieszka Fihel (University of Warsaw) and Joanna Nestorowicz (University of Warsaw)“Migration and Development – the Central and Eastern European Perspective”

Nathalie Picarelli (London School of Economics) “There Is No Free House: Low-Cost Housing & Labour Supply: Evidence from Urban South Africa”

Nelly El-Mallakh (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne andFaculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University) and Jackline Wahba (University of Southampton) “Upward or Downward: Occupational Mobility and Return Migration”


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