Washington D.C. – On September 11th, 2008, the World Bank presented an event entitled A Debate on Labor Markets in Developing Countries. Moderated by Jean-Jacques Dethier, World Bank Research Manager, the discussion was based on the related working paper by Bank Consultant, Gary Fields.
Author Gary Fields, opened by presenting his paper on how labor market policy advice is being purveyed and the research foundations related to the advice. Fields went onto cover the misconceptions surrounding sounds labor market policies and models. Fields then reviewed the characteristics of sounds labor market models, the welfare economics of policy analysis in the labor marketing and theoretical labor market models. Finally, Fields related supporting data, criteria, pitfalls and his recommendations concerning markets and policies.
Next, Robert Holzman, World Bank Sector Director , commented on the paper, focusing on labor markets of interest to the Bank, important contributions to the modeling of labor markets and the next steps needed to address these dilemmas. Jan Svejnar, Director of International Policy at the University of Michigan , followed by presenting on his observations and conclusions, stating that he was in full agreement concerning labor market research. John Giles, Senior Labor Economist for the World Bank, stated that the welfare economics of policy analysis within labor markets is a starting place for deliberation concerning the scope of their policy analysis. He then addressed the implications for the data and labor productivity. Finally, the session concluded with a question and answer session focusing on cross-country comparisons, social welfare, timelines for labor market model agreements and the World Bank’s comparative advantage concerning this issue.