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Crafting Labor Policy: Techniques and Lessons from Latin Americaby Indermit Gill
Synopses & Reviews
Nothing impacts the welfare of individuals and households more directly than employment and earnings opportunities. In developing countries, labor market reform is a crucial component for the success of overall economic policy reforms. Despite success in other areas of economic reform over the past ten years, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile continue to face significant labor policy issues.
To reduce the rhetoric around the issues - in Argentina, a high level of unemployment exists; in Brazil, the high costs of public employment have created large government deficits and public debt; and in Chile, there is a growing income inequality and uncertainty of employment - the book uses a systematically quantitative approach. The value of the quantitative methods in analysis is that they can provide frameworks to better understand the effects of various policy actions. The results can then be translated into benefits and costs that policy makers can more easily explain to their constituents. The policy recommendations resulting from the issues analyzed in Crafting Labor Policy: Techniques and Lessons from Latin America may be beneficial to other developing countries enacting labor market reforms.
Book News Annotation:
World Bank researchers and other economists use estimation techniques to examine suggested policy reforms in three Latin American countries: Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Labor force participation models are used to look at unemployment fluctuations, public-private compensation differentials are detailed, and labor flow models are used to examine the precariousness of employment. As is to be expected from World Bank economists, the policy emphasis is on lowering the price of labor relative to capital, reducing public employment compensation, and creating "flexible" labor markets.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The aim of Crafting Labor Policy is to advance labor market reform--which has been referred to as the unfinished economic reform in Latin America--using estimation techniques to answer important labour policy questions in a quantitative manner. The contributors--leading labor economists in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile--examine key labor policy issues that faced these three countries during the 1990s. An introductory chapter provides the broader context by summarizing labor reforms in Latin America since the late 1980s. The authors approach each country from a different perspective, focusing on labor supply and demand in Argentina, public and private employment in Brazil, and earnings and employment in Chile. Crafting Labor Policy, based on work sponsored as the basis for the labor policy debate. With its readable blend of nontechnical introductory and concluding chapters, somewhat more detailed country chapters, and technical annexes, the book should be of interest to policy-makers, researchers, and students.
The book uses a systematically quantitative approach to labor issues in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.
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