2011 | 2012
Jobs or Growth: Which Comes First?
April 18, 2012
This is a Spring Meetings special event sponsored by the World Development Report 2013, the Jobs Knowledge Platform and External Affairs.
About: Today 910 million people at work across the globe live in poverty. To cope with the growth of the working age population, more than 300 million jobs will be needed in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa in the coming decades. Jobs are critically important for development, however, there is a debate about when a growth strategy is enough, and when a jobs strategy is needed.
Launch of Professor Gary Fields’ book “Working Hard, Working Poor”
April 13, 2012
This event is sponsored by the External Affairs, the World Development Report 2013 and the Office of the Chief Economist, South Asia Region.
Presenter: Gary Fields, Professor of Labor Economics and the John P. Windmuller Chair of International and Comparative Labor, Cornell University
Abstract: It is not a lack of work that defines the poor in many economies. Actually most adults in poverty do work. However, a great many of those who work are poor. The concept of the working poor intrigues and spotlights the need to understand labor markets and labor earnings in the developing world in order to understand global poverty.
Economic Complexity and Good Jobs
February 28, 2012
Presenter: Ricardo Hausmann, Harvard University
Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment
February 9, 2012
Presenters: Nicholas Bloom, Associate Professor, Stanford Department of Economics.
Abstract: The frequency of working from home has been rising rapidly in the US, with over 10% of the workforce now regularly work from home. But there is skepticism over the effectiveness of this, highlighted by phrases like "shirking from home". We report the results of the first randomized experiment on home-working in a 13,000 employee NASDAQ listed Chinese firm. Call center employees who volunteered to work from home were randomized by even/odd birth-date in a 9-month experiment of working at home or in the office. We find a 12% increase in performance from home-working, of which 8.5% is from working more minutes of per shift (fewer breaks and sick-days) and 3.5% from higher performance per minute (quieter working environment). We find no negative spillovers onto workers left in the office. Home workers also reported substantially higher work satisfaction and psychological attitude scores, and their job attrition rates fell by 50%. Despite this ex post success, the impact of home-working was ex ante unclear to the firm, which is why it ran the experiment. Employees were also ex ante uncertain, with one quarter of employees switching their work places after the end of the experiment. This highlights how the impact of such novel management practices is unclear to both firms and employees, helping to explain their slow adoption over time.
Related Links: Paper (98 KP PDF) | Presentation (1.7 MB PDF)