Labour markets

Kevin Daly, Loughlan O'Doherty, 05 March 2018

Recent years have seen emerging market economy inflation rates converge towards developed economy rates, as well as convergence between emerging markets. The sustained improved inflation performance in emerging markets has occurred even as unemployment in many of these economies has fallen to record lows. This column attributes the improved performance to two factors: increases in monetary policy credibility following the widespread introduction of inflation targeting, and a reduction in the frequency of emerging market currency crises, reflecting a secular improvement in their balance sheets.

Yanhui Wu, 03 March 2018

Performance-related pay is commonly linked to the surging incomes of top managers over recent decades. This column presents a theory to assess the role of incentive structures in sorting labour to achieve efficiency on the one hand, and in generating wage inequality on the other. The theory offers a new perspective for studying the effects of technological progress on both the wages and employment of various groups of individuals.

Marc Piopiunik, Guido Schwerdt, Lisa Simon, Ludger Woessmann, 23 February 2018

Applicants use CVs to signal cognitive and non-cognitive skills to potential employers, but we know little about how effective those signals are. Based on an experiment in which HR managers chose between CVs, this column argues that signals of cognitive skills, social skills, and maturity matter for successful entry into the labour market. The relevant signals depend on gender and entry stage.

Benjamin Villena-Roldán, Stefano Banfi, 17 February 2018

Researchers often pick a random or a directed search model based on convenience and theoretical implications, but distinguishing between the two is important as many labour market regulations may be welfare-improving under random search, but not under directed search. This column uses data from Chile to show that job-seekers respond to information posted by employers, suggesting that policy design should consider the prescriptions of directed search models.  However, the evidence also shows that relevant features of these markets are not well captured by existing models.

Cristina Fernández, David Martínez Turégano, 07 February 2018

European labour force participation has increased over recent decades, fuelled in large part by increased female labour participation, improvements in education levels, and socioeconomic factors. This column explores whether this trend will continue, or whether we will see a decline similar to that in the US. Results indicate that while Europe’s labour participation is not on the verge of a reversal, targeted policies will need to take over from socio-educational developments in driving further growth.

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