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Well-being from Work in the Pacific Island Countries

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  • World Bank

Abstract

In the Pacific island countries, which are small and far from world markets, labor mobility represents the most significant and substantial opportunity for overcoming geographic constraints on employment. This report presents a brief overview of employment challenges in small Pacific island countries and recommendations for addressing them. The report contributes to an ongoing World Bank analytical program examining the linkages between employment and well-being around the world, begun with the World Development Report 2013: jobs. Discussion in this report relates to Pacific island states, with populations of significantly less than one million, including Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau. Economic growth and diversification has been very limited in these countries because of the barriers imposed by smallness and distance, and these barriers will not be quickly overcome. This report provides five priorities that are likely to be broadly applicable to the unique group of countries. First, stakeholders' expectations about the trajectory of development will need to be realistic. Second, the volume of international labor mobility should be increased through the erosion of regulatory barriers and investment in transferable human capital. Third, governments can work to harness the positive potential of urbanization through investment in improved rural services, connective infrastructure, and improved urban administration. Fourth, productive public spending can be used as a mechanism for creating new employment opportunities. Finally, policies can ensure that natural resource industries provide a sustainable source of employment creation.

Suggested Citation

  • World Bank, 2014. "Well-being from Work in the Pacific Island Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 18642.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:18642
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    File URL: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/18642/878940WP0P12960fic0Island0Countries.pdf?sequence=1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David McKenzie & Pilar Garcia Martinez & L. Alan Winters, 2008. "Who is coming from Vanuatu to New Zealand under the new Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Program?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0806, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    2. Anthony J. Venables, 2006. "Shifts in economic geography and their causes," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 15-39.
    3. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
    4. Havice, Elizabeth, 2013. "Rights-based management in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean tuna fishery: Economic and environmental change under the Vessel Day Scheme," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 259-267.
    5. McKenzie, David & Garcia Martinez, Pilar & Winters, L. Alan, 2008. "Who is coming from Vanuatu to New Zealand under the new recognized Seasonal employer program ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4699, The World Bank.
    6. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Rohorua, Halahingano, 2008. "How pro-poor is the selection of seasonal migrant workers from Tonga under New Zealand's recognized seasonal employer program ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4698, The World Bank.
    7. Walmsley, Terrie & Ahmed, Syud Amer & Parsons, Christopher, 2005. "The Impact of Liberalizing Labor Mobility in the Pacific Region," GTAP Working Papers 1874, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
    8. Patrizia Tumbarello & Ezequiel Cabezon & Yiqun Wu, 2013. "Are the Asia and Pacific Small States Different from Other Small States?," IMF Working Papers 13/123, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Angioloni, Simone & Kudabaev, Zarylbek & Ames, Glenn & Wetzstein, Michael, 2015. "Household Allocation of Microfinance Loans in Kyrgyzstan," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 210949, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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