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Improving access to jobs and earnings opportunities : the role of activation and graduation policies in developing countries

  • Almeida, Rita
  • Arbelaez, Juliana
  • Honorati, Maddalena
  • Kuddo, Arvo
  • Lohmann, Tanja
  • Ovadiya, Mirey
  • Pop, Lucian
  • Puerta, Maria Laura Sanchez
  • Weber, Michael

Throughout the developing world there is a growing demand for advice on the design of policies to facilitate access of the most vulnerable individuals to jobs, while reducing their dependency from public income support schemes. Even though these policies are common to both the activation and graduation agendas, a separation is needed as the graduation of beneficiaries out of poverty is a much more ambitious agenda. This paper proposes a simple policy framework highlighting the most common barriers for productive employment. It also reviews the topic of incentive compatibility of income support schemes and employment support programs that are used to address them. The paper finds that, especially in middle income countries, activation and active labor market programs play an important role connecting individuals to jobs and improving earnings opportunities. In low income countries, these programs are far from being a panacea to graduate beneficiaries out of poverty. Furthermore, only scant evidence is available on the pathways to graduation and significant knowledge gaps remain. More cross-disciplinary research is needed to strengthen the evidence base and develop recommendations for different contexts and capacity levels.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 67610.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:67610
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  1. Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Benus, Jacob, 2006. "Evaluating Active Labor Market Programs in Romania," IZA Discussion Papers 2464, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. David Robalino & Arup Banerji, 2009. "Addressing the Employment Effects of the Financial Crisis : The Role of Wage Subsidies and Reduced Work Schedules," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11717, The World Bank.
  3. Svarer, Michael, 2007. "The Effect of Sanctions on the Job Finding Rate: Evidence from Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 3015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Program," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 569-606, 06.
  5. Robalino, David A. & Zylberstajn, Eduardo & Zylberstajn, Helio & Afonso, Luis Eduardo, 2009. "Ex-ante methods to assess the impact of social insurance policies on labor supply with an application to Brazil," Social Protection Discussion Papers 52448, The World Bank.
  6. Abdulai, Awudu & Barrett, Christopher B. & Hoddinott, John, 2005. "Does food aid Really have disincentive effects? New evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1689-1704, October.
  7. Vodopivec, Milan & Worgotter, Andreas & Raju, Dhushyanth, 2003. "Unemployment benefit systems in Central and Eastern Europe : a review of the 1990s," Social Protection Discussion Papers 26307, The World Bank.
  8. Emanuela Galasso & Martin Ravallion & Agustin Salvia, 2004. "Assisting the transition from workfare to work: A randomized experiment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(1), pages 128-142, October.
  9. James J. Heckman & Paul LaFontaine, 2006. "Bias Corrected Estimates of GED Returns," NBER Working Papers 12018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Angel-Urdinola, Diego F. & Semlali, Amina & Brodmann, Stefanie, 2010. "Non-public provision of active labor market programs in Arab- Mediterranean countries : an inventory of youth programs," Social Protection Discussion Papers 55673, The World Bank.
  11. Wendy Cunningham & Maria Laura Sanchez-Puerta & Alice Wuermli, 2010. "Active Labor Market Programs for Youth : A Framework to Guide Youth Employment Interventions," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11690, The World Bank.
  12. Catalin Pauna & John S. Earle, 1998. "Long-term unemployment, social assistance and labor market policies in Romania," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1/2), pages 203-235.
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