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Formal Publications

From Right to Reality : Incentives, Labor Markets, and the Challenge of Universal Social Protection in Latin America and the Caribbean (6mb pdf )
edited by Helena Ribe, David A.Robalino, and Ian Walker, March 2012

This volume aims to move the debate forward by: 1) developing a common policy framework for the region's Social Protection (SP) system as a whole, including health insurance; 2) providing guidelines on ways to extend coverage through rationalizing financing mechanisms and the design of redistributive arrangements; and 3) making the case for improved coordination of policies and programs. Building on careful, detailed analysis of a wealth of data on social protection programs across Latin America and the Caribbean, this book addresses these challenges in a thorough yet accessible manner. Although the analysis is comprehensive, the authors focus primarily on three fundamental questions that must be faced by any effort to strengthen social protection in the region: how can programs protect the most vulnerable without promoting informality and dampening incentives to work and save? How can programs ensure that scarce public resources are used for subsidies that are transparent, fair, and effective-and not for badly targeted and regressive benefits for formal sector workers? Finally, how can programs reinforce human capital development so that the more mobile workers that the region needs are able to insure themselves through savings or risk-pooling arrangements, thus reducing vulnerability and the need for subsidies?

Globalization, Wages and the Quality of Jobs: Five Country Studies (21mb pdf)
edited by Raymond Robertson, Drusilla Brown, Gaëlle Pierre and María Laura Sanchez-Puerta, January 2009

The country studies in this volume analyze the link between globalization and working conditions in Cambodia, El Salvador, Honduras, Indonesia, and Madagascar. These countries vary significantly in population, economic circumstances, region, history, and institutions. All have experienced liberalization and globalization in the last 20 years. The heterogeneity of these countries provides the basis for a useful comparison of the effects of globalization on working conditions. As suggested in the framework, each country study has three main components: a description of the country's experience with globalization, a qualitative part that analyzes country-specific aspects of working conditions, and an analysis of changes in interindustry wage differentials (IIWDs) that can be compared across countries.

Pension Reform in South-Eastern Europe: Linking to Labor and Financial Market Reforms (4mb pdf)
edited by Robert Holzmann, Landis MacKellar and Jana Repansek, October 2008

At the initiative of the Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF), a conference “International Forum on Pension Reform: Exploring the Link to Labor and Financial Market Reforms” was held in Slovenia, June 7-9, 2007. High officials from ministries of finance, labor, social affairs, and central banks presented their country statements on pension, labor, and financial sector reforms. Invited experts explored various reform needs of pension systems and of labor and financial markets. Pension Reform in Southeastern Europe, gathers that important discourse in one place.  Many papers in this collection have been updated since the conference and a few new ones have been included. These proceedings should be helpful to policy makers in Southeastern Europe and other parts of the world who are planning pension system, labor, and financial market reforms in their countries.

Social Protection & Labor at the World Bank, 2000-2008
edited by Robert Holzmann, October 2008

This report presents a progress review of sector strategy by the World Bank, published in early 2001. The strategy proposed a new conceptual framework—Social Risk Management—to review and reform existing interventions and propose new ones that better assist vulnerable people in addressing the many risks to which they are exposed. Based on this framework and in line with the World Bank’s vision and mission of poverty reduction and inclusive and sustainable globalization, the SP&L strategy has three broad policy objectives:

  1. Improving earning opportunities and the quality of jobs,
  2. Increasing security through better risk management for households and communities,
  3. Enhancing equity and reducing extreme poverty through better assistance programs for vulnerable groups

The reviews of the strategic directions, the achieved results, and the analytical work and lending operations, in this book, suggest substantial progress; they also point out the need for further work at the level of data, empirical analysis, policy design, and implementation.

Income Support for the Unemployed: Issues and Options (2mb pdf)
by Milan Vodopivec, May 2004

With the aim to provide guidelines for countries wishing to introduce or improve income support systems for the unemployed, the book summarizes the evidence about the performance of five such systems:

  1. Unemployment insurance,
  2. Unemployment assistance,
  3. Unemployment insurance savings accounts,
  4. Severance pay, and
  5. Public works.

Income Support for the Unemployed also offers summary evaluations of alternative systems by describing the strengths and weaknesses of each system and pointing out the country specific circumstances which are particularly conducive to performance.

East Asian Labor Markets and the Economic Crisis: Impacts, Responses and Lessons (36mb pdf)
edited by Rizwanu Islam, Gordon Betcherman and Amy N. Luinstra, October 2000

In 1998, the World Bank and the International Labor Organization (ILO) initiated a project on labor markets and the East Asian crisis. This was one element in the larger collaboration between these two institutions to support the region in responding to the social dimensions of the crisis. The labor market project covered the five most affected countries-Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand-and was designed to stimulate analysis and policy dialog within the context of international experience.

This volume includes papers from a three-day workshop (Tokyo, October 1999) convened to further the dialogue regarding international experience and best practice in labor policy. Part One features reports prepared by national experts. Each report begins with an empirical overview of recent labor market trends in the country and then reviews current policies in employment creation and maintenance, income support for unemployed workers, employment services, and vocational education and training. Part Two examines the international experience and applies it to the Asian context.

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