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Working Hard, Working Poor: A Global Journey


  • Fields, Gary S.

    (Cornell University)


More than three billion people, nearly half of humankind, live on less than two-and-a-half U.S. dollars per person per day. Studies have shown repeatedly that the main and often the sole asset of the poor is their labor. It follows that to understand global poverty one must understand labor markets and labor earnings in the developing world. Excellent books exist on ending world poverty that discuss in depth many important aspects of economic development but do not focus on employment and self-employment, work and non-work. Working Hard, Working Poor fills in where the other books leave off. Issues of analyzing poverty and low earnings in the developing world are quite different from those in the developed world. The discourse in the developed world is about incentive effects of social welfare programs, cultures of poverty, single-parenthood, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, ill health, mental illness, domestic violence, and the like. But in the developing world, different issues predominate, such as own-account work and household enterprises, agricultural work, casual employment, and informal work. And some of the policy issues--stimulating economic growth, harnessing the energies of the private sector, increasing paid employment, and raising the returns to self-employment--take a different twist. This book shows how people in poverty work, what has been effective in helping the poor earn their way out of poverty, and how readers might help. Available in OSO:

Suggested Citation

  • Fields, Gary S., 2012. "Working Hard, Working Poor: A Global Journey," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199794645.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199794645

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gary S. Fields, 2014. "Self-employment and poverty in developing countries: Helping the self-employed earn more for the work they do," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-60, May.
    2. David N Margolis, 2014. "By Choice and by Necessity: Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment in the Developing World," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 26(4), pages 419-436, September.
    3. Fields, Gary S., 2013. "Aid, Growth, and Jobs," IZA Discussion Papers 7141, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Aïssata COULIBALY & Urbain Thierry YOGO, 2016. "Access to Financial Services and Working Poverty in Developing Countries," Working Papers 201620, CERDI.
    5. 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.
    6. Aalia Cassim & Kezia Lilenstein & Morné Oosthuizen & Francois Steenkamp, 2016. "Informality and Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 201602, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    7. Fields, Gary S., 2012. "Aid, Growth, and Jobs," WIDER Working Paper Series 086, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Apolte, Thomas & Gerling, Lena, 2015. "Youth bulges, insurrections, and politico-economic institutions: Theory and empirical evidence," CIW Discussion Papers 3/2015, University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW).
    9. Golub, Stephen & Hayat, Faraz, 2014. "Employment, unemployment, and underemployment in Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 014, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Guillermo Cruces & Gary Fields & David Jaume & Mariana Viollaz, 2015. "The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Cross-country analysis," WIDER Working Paper Series 110, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Apolte, Thomas, 2014. "Youth bulges, insurrections, and politico-economic institutions," CIW Discussion Papers 2/2014, University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW).
    12. Gary S. Fields, 2012. "Beschäftigung und Entwicklung in Entwicklungsländern: eine Bestandsaufnahme dessen, was uns die Forschung lehren kann," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 81(3), pages 23-32.
    13. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-86 is not listed on IDEAS

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