World Bank Employment Policy Primer

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The World Bank Employment Policy Primer aims to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date resource on labor market policy issues. These short notes are concise summaries of best practice on various topics.

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  • Publication
    Unemployment Insurance: Efficiency Effects and Lessons for Developing Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2004-04) Vodopivec, Milan
    Unemployment insurance (UI) is the most common public income support program for the unemployed in developed countries.1 In these countries, it typically offers good protection: it covers the majority of employed persons, irrespective of occupation or industry, and provides adequate smoothening of consumption patterns. For example, studies on the U.S. find that the welfare of benefit recipient households is on average only 3-8 percent lower than the welfare of otherwise identical households, and that in the absence of unemployment insurance, average consumption expenditures would fall by about 20 percent. In the last decade, UI programs have been introduced in transition countries, and their use in developing countries is on the rise as well.
  • Publication
    Employment Regulation : Rules for Hiring and Termination
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2002-12) Betcherman, Gordon
    Employment protection - the set of rules governing hiring and terminating employees - is a key feature of any country's labor market. What types of contracts will be permitted between employers and employees? Under what conditions can the relationship be terminated? What are the requirements for providing advance notice? What are the obligations of the employer regarding severance or termination payments? These are important questions for policy-makers in addressing the trade-offs between labor market flexibility and the economic security of employed workers. A mix of cultural norms, collective bargaining, and legislation determines employment protection practices in any country. This primer note focuses on the statutory regulations affecting employment protection. It provides a basic overview of the policy options and a summary of what is known about their impacts on workers and on the labor market. It also addresses the institutional and political aspects of employment protection.