Employment and Development brings together the contributions of 2014 IZA Prize in Labor Economics award winner Gary S. Fields to address global employment and poverty problems. Most of the poor in developing countries live in households in which people work, but still they are poor because the best available work pays so little. Employment and Development questions how economic growth affects standards of living, how labor markets work in developing countries, and how different labor market policies affect well-being.
Through a collection of essays, this book tackles major questions in development and labor economics. Who benefits from economic growth and who is hurt by economic decline? Why are distributional factors and labor market conditions improving in some countries but not in others? How do developing countries' labor markets work? How would labor market conditions change if different policies were to be put into effect? What are the welfare consequences of these changes? Through distributional analysis, Fields examines inequality, poverty, income mobility, and economic well-being, and through analysis of changing labor market conditions he examines employment and unemployment, employment composition, and labor earnings. By concentrating on the poor and understanding how the labor markets work for them and how their labor market earnings might be raised in response to different policy interventions, Fields addresses questions of first-order importance for human well-being.