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Challenges and policy lessons for the growth-employment-poverty nexus in developing countries

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  • Gary Fields

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Abstract

Of the world’s 6.7 billion people (as of 2008), 1.3 billion lived on less than $1.25 Purchasing Power Parity dollars per person per day and another 1.7 billion lived on between $1.25 and $2.50 PPP dollars (Chen and Ravallion, 2012). The scourge of absolute economic misery among billions of the world’s people is one of the most serious problems facing humankind today. Unemployment (defined below) befalls about 200 million of the world’s people - a sizeable number but small compared to the three billion people who are poor using the $2.50 PPP dollar poverty line. A much larger number - 900 million - are employed but earning so little that they and their families are unable to reach even $2 per person per day (ILO, 2012). They are working hard and they are working poor. (Working Hard, Working Poor is the title of my latest book (Fields, 2012). To achieve more and better employment (where “better” depends on such factors as rate of pay, job security, employment protections, and type of work), analysts and donors need to understand better how employment, growth, poverty and other factors interact, how unemployment is caused, and how employment can be improved. At the same time, drawing on practical experience, research can identify knowledge gaps that to date pose limits to successful employment creation policy. Copyright Fields; licensee Springer. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Fields, 2012. "Challenges and policy lessons for the growth-employment-poverty nexus in developing countries," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-24, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izalpo:v:1:y:2012:i:1:p:1-24:10.1186/2193-9004-1-6
    DOI: 10.1186/2193-9004-1-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abhijit Banerjee & Sebastian Galiani & Jim Levinsohn & Zoë McLaren & Ingrid Woolard, 2008. "Why has unemployment risen in the New South Africa?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(4), pages 715-740, October.
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    3. DennisTao Yang & VivianWeijia Chen & Ryan Monarch, 2010. "Rising Wages: Has China Lost Its Global Labor Advantage?," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 482-504, October.
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    5. Cai, Fang & Wang, Meiyan, 2010. "Growth and structural changes in employment in transition China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 71-81, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Uruguay country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 083, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Chile country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 072, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Chaparro, Juan & Lora, Eduardo, 2014. "The Economic Payoff of Creating Good Job Conditions: Theory and Evidence from Latin America," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 169810, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Bolivia country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 070, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Venezuela country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 084, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Argentina country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 069, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Brazil country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 071, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Juan Chaparro & Eduardo Lora, 2017. "Do Good Job Conditions Matter for Wages and Productivity? Theory and Evidence from Latin America," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 12(1), pages 153-172, March.
    9. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Honduras country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 078, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Roberto Mauricio Sánchez Torres, 2015. "Identificación y caracterización de los trabajadores pobres en Colombia, 2002-2012," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 17(32), pages 295-315, January-J.
    11. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Peru country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 082, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: El Salvador country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 077, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Mexico country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 079, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Panama country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 080, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    15. Cruces Guillermo & Fields Gary S. & Jaume David & Viollaz Mariana, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Colombia country study," WIDER Working Paper Series 073, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment; Poverty; Economic growth; Foreign assistance; Developing countries; I3; J2; O1; O19;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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