Jobs and Development Conference 2021


With a special focus on “good jobs transitions for post-pandemic development,” the fifth Jobs and Development Conference featured a wide range of latest research on jobs and development, including the differential impacts of COVID-19 on workers, migration and remittances, and gender gaps in the labor market. The three-day virtual conference, held in early September, was hosted by the World Bank, IZA, the Network on Jobs and Development, and UNU-WIDER. It showcased over 50 papers from economists, policymakers, and development experts, spanning 22 countries, and attracted more than 1,600 online participants.


This year’s conference sent a strong message that – as the world emerges from the pandemic – policymakers will have to focus on creating better, more resilient jobs and managing jobs transitions in the context of global challenges, including climate change, gender inequality, and extreme poverty. In his keynote address, Dani Rodrik of the Harvard Kennedy School explained why the ‘traditional’ model of development – with informal agricultural workers moving into formal, organized manufacturing jobs – is no longer creating enough good-quality, productive jobs for low-skilled workers in many lower- and middle-income countries. David Autor of MIT highlighted how technological advancement has changed the nature of work in the United States. Machines can substitute jobs – but at the same time, ‘new work’ arises from machinery that complements labor.


The Policymakers’ Panel on Migration in Latin America and the Caribbean, chaired by Michal Rutkowski, the World Bank’s Global Director for Social Protection and Jobs, discussed how low-quality jobs, insecurity, natural disasters and climate change influence migration in the region, and how the pandemic has exacerbated migratory pressures. The ILO-World Bank Special Session on Measuring Women’s and Men’s Work featured findings from the latest ILO Labor Force Pilot Studies, including evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa on redefining employment, as well as findings from a joint ILO-World Bank study in Sri Lanka.


See also:

Blog: Jobs and Development Conference 2021: Good Jobs Transitions for Post-Pandemic Development

Blog: The latest research on jobs and development: conference round-up



Please also visit the Jobs and Development Conference Youtube channel for more videos from this year's conference and previous years.


IZA - Institute of Labor Economics - Gary Fields and Ahmed Elsayed
The World Bank - Ian Walker, Indhira Santos and Javier Sánchez-Reaza
The Network on Jobs and Development (NJD)* - Piotr Lewandowski and Albert Park
UNU-WIDER - Kunal Sen and Sam Jones

* A partnership of five research institutes from various regions of the world: Development Policy Research Unit at University of Cape Town (DPRU, South Africa), HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies (HKUST IEMS, Hong Kong), Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER, India), Institute for Structural Research (IBS, Poland) and Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA).



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