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Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018: How Technology Affects Jobs

Asian Development Bank, April 2018.


Developing Asia is forecast to expand by 6.0% in 2018, and by 5.9% in 2019. Excluding Asia’s high-income newly industrialized economies, growth should reach 6.5% in 2018 and 6.4% in 2019.

With oil prices edging up and robust consumer demand continuing, inflation is poised to pick up after dipping slightly last year. Consumer prices are projected to rise by 2.9% in both 2018 and 2019, or 0.6 percentage points more than in 2017.

Though prospects are firm, risks are clearly to the downside. Protectionist measures and retaliation against them could undermine the recent pickup in trade growth. In response to fiscal stimulus, the United States Federal Reserve may need to raise interest rates faster than currently expected, which could diminish capital flows to developing Asia.

URL: https://www.adb.org/publications/asian-development-outlook-2018-how-technology-affects-jobs

Courtesy: Asian Development Bank



The ‘ Stigma’ of Paid Work: Capital, State, Patriarchy and Women Fish Workers in South India

P. Aswathy and K. Kalpana. (2018).

Journal of International Women’s Studies, 19(5).

This paper explores the changing dynamics of women’s labor in a Muslim fishing village in the South Indian state of Kerala in the back drop of two global processes viz., state-initiated capitalist modernization of the fisheries sector and state-sponsored livelihood promotion programs.

It traces the shifting contexts in which Muslim fisher women, alternately, engaged in and disengaged from, paid work outside the household and shows how women experienced different kinds of paid work, as self-employed fish vendors and wage earners of employment guarantee schemes.

Changes in women’s labor force participation were mediated by the social institutions of family and religion, community patriarchies and ideologies of female domesticity and the state’s endeavors to constitute women as entrepreneurial actors who take responsibility for the economic well-being of their households.

The paper maps women’s struggles to secure and retain paid work in the face of a resurgent domestic feminine ideal and its zealous defenders in their village.

URL: http://vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2048&context=jiws




On The Volume of Redistribution: Across income Levels and Across Groups

Ravi Kanbur.

Cornell University Working Paper No. 2018-03.

The optimal income taxation literature focuses on the tradeoff between the equity gains of higher progressivity versus its greater incentive costs at the individual level. This paper highlights a neglected aspect of redistribution—greater progressivity requires a higher volume of gross redistributive flows, across income levels.

If these flows are costly to manage, administratively or politically, then progressivity will be lower. Moreover if redistribution across income level simplies redistribution across socio-politically salient groups because of the way in which these groups line up relative to the income distribution, this can be an added cost in the objective function and progressivity is further disadvantaged. The paper develops a simple framework in which these questions can be addressed.

Among the many interesting results is that when the capacity for the volume of redistributive flows, across income levels or across socio-political groups, is reached, an increase in market inequality can lead to a fall in progressivity in the tax-transfer regime without any change in the government’s preferences for equity. A focus on the volume of redistribution thus opens up an important set of theoretical and empirical questions for analysis and for policy.

URL: https://dyson.cornell.edu/faculty-research/working-papers/documents/Cornell-Dyson-wp1803.pdf

Courtesy: Cornell university

Changing wage structure in India in the post-reform era: 1993–2011

Hanan G. Jacoby and Basab Dasgupta.

IZA Journal of Development and Migration, 8:8, 2018. (Open Access)


This paper documents the changing structure of wages in India over the post-reform era, the roughly two-decade period since 1993. To investigate the factors underlying these changes, a supply-demand framework is applied at the level of the Indian state. While real wages have risen across India over the past two decades, the increase has been greater in rural areas and, especially, for unskilled workers. The analysis finds that, in rural areas, the changing wage structure has been driven largely by relative supply factors, such as increased overall education levels and falling female labor force participation. Relative wage changes between rural and urban areas have been driven largely by shifts in employment, notably into unskilled-intensive sectors like construction.

URL: https://izajodm.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40176-017-0115-1

Courtesy: SpringerOpen


Employer Power, Labor Saving Technical Change, and Inequality

Nancy H. Chau, and Ravi Kanbur.

IZA Discussion Paper No. 11519, 2018.

How does employer power mediate the impact of labor saving technical change on inequality? This question has largely been neglected in the recent literature on the wage and distributional consequences of automation, where the labor market is assumed to be competitive. In a simple task-based model, with search frictions which generate an equilibrium wage distribution even with identical firms and workers, we explore the implications of labor saving technical change for equilibrium outcomes. We show that employer power is a crucial determinant of the nuanced comparative statics of technical change. Among a range of results, we show the possibility of Kuznetsian inverse-U relationships between employer power and inequality, and labor saving technical change and inequality. We further show that when employer power is sufficiently low, labor saving technical change can both increase total output and increase wage inequality. With free entry of firms, labor saving technical change leads to both a first order dominating shift in the age distribution and an increase in the Gini coefficient of wage inequality.

URL: https://www.iza.org/publications/dp/11519/employer-power-labor-saving-technical-change-and-inequality

Courtesy: IZA

Human Capital and Development Accounting: New Evidence from Wage Gains at Migration

Lutz HendricksTodd Schoellman.

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 133(2), 2018.

We use new data on the pre- and postmigration wages of immigrants to the United States to measure wage gains at migration. The average immigrant from a middle-income or poor country increases their wage by a factor of two to three upon migration. This wage gain is small relative to the underlying gap in GDP per worker. In a development accounting framework, this finding implies that switching countries accounts for 40% of cross-country income differences, while human capital accounts for 60%. Wage gains decline with education, consistent with imperfect substitution between skill types. We augment our analysis to allow for this possibility and bound the human capital share in development accounting to between one-half and two-thirds. We also provide results on the importance of premigration sector of employment, assimilation, and skill transfer.

URL: https://academic.oup.com/qje/issue/133/2

Courtesy: OUP

South Asia Economic Focus, Spring 2018 : Jobless Growth?

World Bank, 2018


South Asia is again the fastest growing region in the world. And growth should further strengthen to 7.1 percent on average in 2019-20, reflecting an improvement across most of the region. But are countries generating enough jobs? The demographic transition is swelling the ranks of the working-age population across most of South Asia. For this report, crucial information about employment in South Asia is extracted in a transparent and replicable way from over 60 surveys and censuses covering the period from 2001 onwards. The analysis of this information reveals that employment does respond to economic growth in the short term, implying that growth is not jobless. It also appears that countries in South Asia have created large numbers of jobs over the years. However, the nature of the jobs created is not fully encouraging, and the analysis shows that rapid growth alone will not be sufficient to bring South Asian employment rates to the levels observed elsewhere in the developing world. In addition to high growth, more and better jobs need to be created for every percentage point of growth. The results in this chapter call for better employment data, and for a focus on the economic policies that can boost job creation.

URL: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/29650

Courtesy: World Bank Group