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The Right to a Job, the Right Types of Projects: Employment Guarantee Policies from a Gender Perspective

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  • Rania Antonopoulos

Abstract

There is now widespread recognition that in most countries, private-sector investment has not been able to absorb surplus labor. This is all the more the case for poor unskilled people. Public works programs and employment guarantee schemes in South Africa, India, and other countries provide jobs while creating public assets. In addition to physical infrastructure, an area that has immense potential to create much-needed jobs is that of social service delivery and social infrastructure. While unemployment and enforced “idleness” persist, existing time-use survey data reveal that people around the world—especially women and children—spend long hours performing unpaid work. This work includes not only household maintenance and care provisioning for family members and communities, but also time spent that helps fill public infrastructural gaps—for example, in the energy, health, and education sectors. This paper suggests that, by bringing together public job creation, on the one hand, and unpaid work, on the other, well-designed employment guarantee policies can promote job creation, gender equality, and pro-poor development.

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Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute, The in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_516.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_516

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  1. Elson, Diane & Cagatay, Nilufer, 2000. "The Social Content of Macroeconomic Policies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1347-1364, July.
  2. Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, 1998. "(Full) Employment Policy: Theory and Practice," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_258, Levy Economics Institute, The.
  3. Branko Milanovic, 2005. "Can We Discern the Effect of Globalization on Income Distribution? Evidence from Household Surveys," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 21-44.
  4. Branko Milanovic, 2003. "CAN WE DISCERN THE EFFECT OF GLOBALIZATION ON INCOME DISTRIBUTION? Evidence from Household Budget Surveys," International Trade 0303004, EconWPA.
  5. Fadhel Kaboub, 2007. "Employment Guarantee Programs: A Survey of Theories and Policy Experiences," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_498, Levy Economics Institute, The.
  6. Anna McCord, 2004. "Policy Expectations and Programme Reality: The Poverty Reduction and Labour Market Impact of Two Public Works Programmes in South Africa," Working Papers 8, Economics and Statistics Analysis Unit (ESAU), Overseas Development Institute.
  7. José Antonio Ocampo, 2006. "Market, Social Cohesion, and Democracy," Working Papers 9, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  8. Anna McCord & Dirk Ernst van Seventer, 2004. "The economy-wide impacts of the labour intensification of infrastructure expenditure in South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 093, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  9. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Transfer Benefits from Public-Works Employment: Evidence for Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1346-69, November.
  10. Robert Pollin & Gerald Epstein & James Heintz & Léonce Ndikumana, 2006. "An Employment-targeted Economic Programme for South Africa," Country Study 1, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  11. Stephen Devereux, 2005. "Can minimum wages contribute to poverty reduction in poor countries?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(7), pages 899-912.
  12. Indira Hirway, 2006. "Enhancing Livelihood Security through the National Employment Guarantee Act: Toward Effective Implementation of the Act," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_437, Levy Economics Institute, The.
  13. Nancy Folbre, 2006. "Measuring Care: Gender, Empowerment, and the Care Economy," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 183-199.
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Cited by:
  1. Lieuw-Kie-Song, Maikel & Philip, Kate & Tsukamoto, Mito & Van Imschoot, Marc, 2011. "Towards the right to work : innovations in public employment programmes (IPEP)," ILO Working Papers 460768, International Labour Organization.
  2. Pavlina R. Tcherneva, 2012. "What Do Poor Women Want? Public Employment or Cash Transfers? Lessons from Argentina," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_705, Levy Economics Institute, The.
  3. K.N. Nair & T.P. Sreedharan & M. Anoopkumar, 2009. "A Study of National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme in three grama panchayats of Kasargod district," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 413, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
  4. Zdravka, Todorova, 2009. "Employer of Last Resort Policy and Feminist Economics: Social Provisioning and Socialization of Investment," MPRA Paper 16240, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Antonopoulos, Rania, 2009. "The unpaid care work : paid work connection," ILO Working Papers 427404, International Labour Organization.

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