While most research in labor economics focuses on the US and Western Europe, the majority of the world’s population and particularly of the poor and the youth live in countries where labor markets often work quite differently. To stimulate and promote research on employment and labor economics in low and middle income countries, the World Bank and IZA initiated in 2006 a work program on “Employment and Development”. Since 2006, the annual conference on Employment and Development provides a platform for researchers and policy experts to discuss new research findings and identify areas where further work is needed.
IZA and the World Bank will organize the 7th annual conference in New Delhi, this year in partnership with the Indian Council for Research and International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and the Delhi School of Economics, on November 5-6, 2012.
In addition to the regular sessions in all fields of labor economics and development, special sessions on Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship will be featured. The global financial and economic crisis of 2008-09 has clearly shown that youth are particularly vulnerable to economic shocks and that even when the economy picks up again, access to productive and rewarding jobs remains difficult for many new labor market entrants, both in developed and developing countries. High incidence of unemployment and informal work combined with low wages and difficult working conditions are only some of the labor market challenges youth are facing across the world. Improving school-to-work and unemployment-to-work transitions requires action on various fronts, from ensuring investment in early childhood and formal education, especially among disadvantaged youth, to fostering a good match between skills thought in school and those needed in the market, to reducing the cost of employing youth for firms and boosting the employability of the long-term unemployed. In addition, for many self-employment and working in small family/household enterprises is the only viable option. Furthermore, youth can face even more constraints than the average entrepreneur given their lack of work experience and social networks, dependency on others for material support, their lack of collateral or an insufficient credit history needed to apply for a loan. There are multiple knowledge gaps on the best policy interventions to facilitate these transitions into entrepreneurship or help those who are already in a given business to increase earnings.
The thematic sessions welcome papers analyzing:
The design of social assistance and social insurance policies and their role in promoting human capital investment and improving labor market outcomes especially among disadvantaged youth;
The design of vocational education and training programs to promote higher employability and productivity for youth.
The design of activation and active labor market policies for youth;
The role of labor market policy and institutions in alleviating the constraints to the creation of productive and rewarding jobs for youth;
The challenges youth entrepreneurs are facing and the role of role of the regulatory framework, entrepreneurial education and business assistance.
Only one submission per person is accepted. We invite submissions of papers in all areas of labor economics in developing countries. The scientific committee will review all papers and make a decision by June 15, 2012. Detailed abstracts will also be considered, but full papers, in particular empirical ones, will strongly be favored.
A selection of papers from the conference will be considered for publication in a special issue of IZA Journal of Labor and Development.
Selected participants to parallel sessions must arrange and fund their trip to India but are offered three nights accommodation in Delhi (4-7 November) as well as meals during the conference, including participation in the conference dinner. A limited amount of travel grants may be available for participants residing in developing countries, based on a need assessment. There are no conference fees. For enquiries, please contact Alpaslan Akay at firstname.lastname@example.org.