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Labor markets in an era of adjustment : case studies (English)

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  • Labor markets in an era of adjustment : case studies (English)
  • Horton, Susan; Kanbur, Ravi; Mazumdar, Dipak
  • World Bank (WB)


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Title Labor markets in an era of adjustment : case studies (English)
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Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Horton, Susan; Kanbur, Ravi; Mazumdar, Dipak

Publisher

World Bank (WB)

Date 1994
ISBN 0-8213-2681-3
Language English
File Type Link

Abstract

This volume is one of two volumes resulting from a large research project undertaken by the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank. This volume includes twelve case studies that examine the effects of adjustment on labour markets in developing countries. They cover a wide geographic range: Latin America (Republic of Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand), North Africa and the Middle East (Egypt), and sub-Saharan Africa (Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Kenya). Policymakers and international institutions seem to believe that labor market rigidities are an obstacle to structural adjustment, and several developing countries have implemented rather draconian policies to regulate their labor markets. However, few empirical studies exist to justify such policies. This research suggests that labor markets in developing countries have in fact been working quite well to permit structural adjustment. Three important conclusions are reached: 1) real wages were more flexible than generally supposed, which would support adjustment, 2) labor reallocation across sectors has been more or less in the desired direction, and 3) labor market institutions such as unions and minimum wages, often argued to be an impediment to adjustment, have more subtle effects on the workings of labor market.