319 publications found
  • Towards zero long-term unemployment in the EU: Job guarantees and other innovative approaches

    Markowitsch, Jörg and Scharle, Ágota. (2024). Social Innovation Initiative, Report for the European Commission .


    Long-term unemployment remains a persistent challenge in the European Union underlining the need for new innovative approaches. With this in mind, the ESF+ Social Innovation+ Initiative will focus on territorial measures that address long-term unemployment, and with a budget of EUR 23 million allocated in 2024, the European Commission aims to support the testing, transfer, and scaling up of innovative solutions to tackle this challenge.

    This report sets the scene for these activities by mapping and analysing ‘Zero Long-Term Unemployment’ (Zero LTU) and job guarantee initiatives across Europe. It explores existing research, peers into long-term unemployment statistics and provides a conceptual framework for comparison. Besides a literature review, it is methodologically built mainly on an online survey conducted in autumn 2023 among members of the ESF+ Social Innovation+ Initiative Communities of Practice (CoP) and on interviews with key individuals involved in Zero-LTU and job guarantee initiatives.

    The report details five ongoing initiatives in Europe including Austria’s Marienthal Job Guarantee Pilot (MAGMA), France’s Territoires zéro chômeur de longue durée (TZCLD) as well as the Belgium’s adaptation of the French model, Germany’s Solidaric Basic Income (SBI) project and the Netherland’s Basisbaan. These initiatives share common features such as addressing long-term unemployment through local and regional approaches, building on voluntary participation, offering fair remuneration and flexible working hours. As such, they need to be distinguished from basic income experiments that do not offer jobs, as well as from public works and ‘transitional’ employment schemes that focus on activating and returning participants to the primary labour market, often including the loss of benefits.


    Environmental Sustainability Europe Implementation Quantitative Urban Youth
  • Benefits of the Expanded Public Works Programme in South Africa: A Direct Stakeholder’s Perception

    Olusegun Oguntona, Opeoluwa Akinradewo, Boitumelo Kgoetyane, Babatunde Fatai Ogunbayo, Clinton Aigbavboa. (2023). Sustainable Construction in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


    There are several socio-economic challenges ravaging the continent of Africa and other developing countries. Among these issues is unemployment, which is directly linked to the high crime rate, poverty, and other societal ills in South Africa. To develop sought-after skills and to facilitate gainful employment toward the goal of poverty alleviation in the country, several programmes are initiated by the South African government. One of the various interventions is the expanded public works programme (EPWP). This paper is aimed at identifying the beneficial factors of the EPWP in South Africa from the stakeholders’ point of view. A quantitative research approach was employed in the study. Data collection was achieved through the duo of literature review and the use of a structured closed-ended questionnaire survey. The data from the returned survey was analyzed using descriptive and exploratory factor analysis. The findings showed that employment creation, strengthened community participation, infrastructure improvement, skills enhancement of participants, and provision of social security are the major benefits of the EPWP. Continuous revising and re-conceptualizing of the EPWP operations are recommended to maximize and sustain the benefits of the programme.


    Africa Development Quantitative
  • Beyond Job Guarantee: The Employer of Last Resort Program as a Tool to Promote the Energy Transition

    Giuliano Toshiro Yajima. (2023). Review of Political Economy.


    We argue that a careful design of a program of direct employment and public provision by the state can have permanent effects and promote the structural and environmental transformation of the economy. Starting from this point, we develop a multisectoral stock-flow consistent model to study the long-run effects of the implementation of a job guarantee program, both in the original formulation of Minsky and in its recent version put forward as part of the ‘Green New Deal’ (GND) policy package. We also assess the impact of both ‘green’ and ‘brown’ standard fiscal expenditures, as well as a policy mix including industrial, environmental and employment measures. Results from our simulations point out that, in order to pursue the twin targets of full employment and environmental sustainability, the government should invest in gross fixed capital formation while both reducing energy consumption and acting as an employer of last resort in order to absorb the workforce expelled from the energy sector.


    Environmental Sustainability Macroeconomics Modeling Quantitative
  • Do Mahatma Gandhi NREGA and convergence measures arrest distress migration? An empirical assessment of the migration-prone regions of Odisha, India

    N. Nayak, B. Sahoo, Alok Ranjan Mohanty. (2023). Letters in spatial and resource sciences.


    In India, distress migration has always been a matter of grave concern. Such a phenomenon is attributed mainly inter alia to persistent poverty, food insecurity, and lack of employment opportunities. Intending to arrest distress migration, the Government of India introduced Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in 2005. In 2013, the convergence program was introduced. This study, based on the primary survey of 590 households covering some migration-prone districts of Odisha, thus, examines the impact of MGNREGA and associated convergence activities on distress migration. We employ the Mahalanobis Distance Metric matching method to assess the impact on distress migration, including certain economic wellbeing indicators. Anecdotes and empirical results indicate that the MGNREGA and the convergence schemes seem to have been effective in arresting distress migration, thanks to the rise in household incomes. Other notable impacts include a rise in saving propensities, female employment, and food expenditure. Suffice to state that with timely implementation and appropriate targeting, these measures can remove distress migration and make rural women economically empowered. As these schemes are inherently targeted towards the SC and ST households, if executed successfully, these disadvantaged sections will reap the desired benefits.


    India Macroeconomics Quantitative
  • Employing the unemployed of Marienthal: Evaluation of a guaranteed job program

    Maximilian Kasy, Lukas Lehner. (2023). Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School.


    We evaluate a guaranteed job program that was piloted, starting in October 2020, in the municipality of Gramatneusiedl in Austria. This program provided individually tailored, voluntary jobs to all long-term unemployed residents. Our evaluation is based on three estimation approaches. The first approach uses pairwise matched randomization of participants into waves for program adoption. The second approach uses a pre-registered synthetic control at the municipality level. The third approach compares program participants to observationally similar individuals in control municipalities. These different approaches allow us to separate out direct effects of program participation, anticipation effects of future participation, and municipality-level equilibrium effects. We find strong positive impacts of program participation on participants’ economic (employment, income, security) and non-economic wellbeing (social status, time structure, social interactions, collective purpose). We do not find effects on physical health, or risk-and time-preferences. At the municipality level, we find a large reduction of long-term unemployment, and a slightly attenuated reduction of total unemployment. Comparing participants to similar individuals in control towns, we obtain estimates that are very close to the estimates from the experimental comparison. There is evidence of positive anticipation effects in terms of subjective wellbeing, status and social inclusion for future program participants, relative to ineligible control-town individuals.


    Europe Implementation Quantitative
  • For a Full and Decent Employment in Africa: The Role of a Job Guarantee

    Ndongo Samba Sylla. (2023). Economic Democracy Initiative. Policy Report 01.


    This article argues for a development strategy based on the mobilization of domestic resources, in particular, on full and decent employment, instead of the dominant approach that consists in making job creation a goal derived from the growth of the existing productive capacity. To this end, the author recommends the implementation of a job guarantee in African countries in the same vein as the literature inspired by Modern Money Theory (MMT) that defends its desirability and feasibility in peripheral countries. However, the article stresses the importance of adapting this public policy instrument to contexts where underemployment is a more prevalent reality than unemployment in the strict sense. The case of Senegal is used to highlight the relevance of this type of program, the contextual specificities that should be taken into account, and the way in which it could be implemented.


    Africa Development Macroeconomics
  • Good Jobs for All: A Green New Deal for Newburgh

    Tyler C. Emerson et al. (2023). Economic Democracy Initiative. Policy Report 02.


    In the midst of a strong recovery or in the depths of an economic crisis, there are always people looking for work. Every community in the U.S. has to tackle the problem of unemployment. Yet the most obvious solution the problem is almost always overlooked: directly employing the unemployed. This report, which was arose from student work in the OSUN Right to Employment course, imagines what a Job Guarantee would look like if implemented in Newburgh, New York.


    Human Rights North America Racial Justice Urban
  • Has the Time for a European Job Guarantee Policy Arrived?

    Rania Antonopoulos. (2023). Levy Economics Institute. Working Paper No. 1022.


    As country after country in the European Union is called to respond to the current challenge of our time—high inflation and declining real wages—governments must engage in a transformative agenda and go beyond emergency energy vouchers and income support cash-transfers. And if the goal is to lead the way to a resilient and sustainable European Union, business as usual will not do. The share of wages to GDP has been declining since the late 1970s, deregulation of labor markets has increased insecurity and precariousness, and, among ordinary working people, a sense of uncertainty, disenfranchisement, and mistrust in governing institutions is prevalent. A thorough re-evaluation of policies is needed. In response to the deterioration of living standards, a guarantee of minimum wages adequate to secure a decent living standard should be a starting point; a permanent policy of automatic adjustment of wages to inflation rates in all member states should be promoted; and strengthening collective bargaining agreements ought to be re-invigorated for a fair sharing of productivity between wages and profits. An EU Job Guarantee should be at the center of this policy transformation. This bold agenda, advocated in this paper, can mobilize people to regain trust that a Social Europe is possible.


    Europe Implementation Inflation Macroeconomics
  • NREGA and Employment opportunity in Nabadwip block

    Enamul Haque Mollick. (2023). RESEARCH REVIEW International Journal of Multidisciplinary.


    National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is being considered as a ‘Silver Bullet’ for the development of society. It has been eradicating the rural poverty and unemployment by the way of generating more employment for productive unskilled labour in rural India. In last few decades, rural poverty and unemployment have grown in an unprecedented. Nabadwip is a community development block in Nadia District. It forms an administrative division in Krishnanagar Sadar subdivision of Nadia district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Nabadwip CD block had to be semi industrially developed and least agriculturally dependent. The NREGA is a demand-driven people centred scheme. The NREGA Act had passed in September, 2005. But NREGA has been implemented in Nadia district from 1st April, 2007. NREGA guarantees 100 days of right to work for every individual in the village section of India. According to the Act, it can enhance the quality of life and motivate or mobilise the life style of citizens all over the country as well as study block. The research study is mainly based on Krishnagar II CD block and Nabadiwip CD Block of Nadia district. It is discussed in this article on various issues like background of Nabadwip block, brief note of employment provided HH against demanded HH, employment provided HH of SCs, STs and Women, employment persondays generated and lastly but not a least discussed about average no. of days employment provided per HH in study Nabadwip block.


    India Macroeconomics
  • The Job Guarantee Program and the Kaleckian Dilemma: Lessons from the Rehn-Meidner Plan

    Caio Vilella and Eduardo F. Bastian. (2023). Economic Democracy Initiative.


    Minsky (1965) has presented the Job Guarantee program as a recommendation in the war against unemployment and poverty. Kalecki (1943), on the other hand, argued that the full employment situation could be technically feasible but politically hard to implement due to the class struggle, resulting in what we will refer to as the “kaleckian dilemma”. Based on this contradiction, this paper aims to extract lessons from the Rehn-Meidner Swedish plan, which successfully combined low unemployment rates and creeping inflation for over three decades, as a means to study the chances of a Job Guarantee overcoming the kaleckian dilemma. From these lessons, this piece highlights the importance of a tripartite council bargaining board at the national level to settle the Job Guarantee’s wage level. In addition, we highly recommended other desirable features, such as international capital control and taxation on extraordinary profits, to raise the chances of the program successfully dealing with the kaleckian dilemma, just as Rehn-Meidner did.


    Europe Inflation Macroeconomics
  • The Right to Work and the Promise of America

    Charles J. Whalen. (2023). Economic Democracy Initiative. Working Paper 07.


    This paper, based on remarks prepared for the Global Forum on Democratizing Work (October 6, 2021), makes three points. First, the notion of “jobs for all” who are willing and able to work is not new. Second, it’s also an idea that’s deeply conservative. And third, jobs for all—or what long ago was called “the right to work”—is vital to fulfilling the promise of America.


    Human Rights North America Racial Justice
  • Assessing Impact of Billion Tree Tsunami Project on Environment and Livelihood Strategies: A Case Study from District Faisalabad

    Aqeela Saghir, Baber Shahbaz, Muhammad Amjed Iqbal, Sadia Ijaz, Shoukat Ali, Rakhshanda Kousar, Rana Muhammad Amir. (2022). Journal of economic impact.


    The study aims to analyze the impact of the Billion Tree Tsunami Project on the environment and livelihood of the people. The main focus was to assess the impacts of this project in Faisalabad localities. For this purpose, primary data were collected through face to face survey, and respondents were selected by using the quota sampling technique. A total of 124 respondents were interviewed by using a structured questionnaire and analyzed through SPSS software. The results show that improved water storage capacity (Mean =3.95 and SD=0.927, sustain ecosystem (Mean =3.72 and SD=0.98) were ranked at the top by the respondents in assessing the impact of Billion Tree Tsunami Project (BTTP) on the environment. Moreover, the impact of BTTP was assessed by taking the perception of respondents on different attributes. It was observed that factor of labour opportunities was highly endorsed by the respondents. Every age group had almost the same perception of the impact of the billion trees tsunami project. The majority of the highly qualified people (postgraduation and above) had a more positive opinion about billion tree tsunami project as compared to those respondents who were less educated. The gamma statistic is 0.344 (p = .010) which demonstrate a significant and positive relationship between the selected factors. It is concluded that Billion Tree Tsunami Project imprinted strong footings in Faisalabad district as in the overall country. Further, it was recommended that the BTTP project one of the best step to save the environment from the adverse impact of climate change.


    Asia Environmental Sustainability Quantitative
  • Background and Effects of NREGA on Potential Benefits, Rural-Urban Migration and Food Security Vis-a-Vis Present Status: Empirical Analysis of Bihar

    Shikha Yadav, Ramesh Kumar Yadav, Rajiv Kumar Sinha. (2022). International journal of agricultural economics.


    On 2nd February, 2006, the Government of India implemented the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) as a part of its Common Minimum Programme (CMP) Agenda in 200 districts across India, which was extended to the remaining districts across the states and Union Territories w.e.f. 1st April, 2008. On 2nd October, 2009, the scheme was renamed as ‘Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Pitched tentatively as Mission of Shri Narendra Modi led Government of India with larger ambition of Antyodaya, efforts are being made to work on a major plan to converge Social Welfare Plans and Schemes across Ministries and target these to reach individual households- based on their specific deprivations as indicated in the recently published Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC). Objectives: (i) To briefly annotate background of employment policies in India, (ii) Concept and provisions of NREGA, (iii) Envelop latest restructuring of social welfare plan, (iv) Illuminate changes in charges of agricultural operations, village economy during post-NREGA period, (v) Pause upon effects, (vi) Gauge potential benefits related to food security, (vii) Discuss current scenario of MNREGA in Bihar and (viii) Suggest Action Points. Methodology: For featuring objective-based analysis, five districts from the Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western and Central regions of the state were taken up. The districts of Samastipur, Kishanganj and Rohtas were selected from Phase-I and Banka and Goplaganj from Phase-II. A total of 10 villages-2 from each district were surveyed using ‘structured household questionnaire’ and a ‘Village Schedule’. Of the two villages selected from each district, one was within a 5 km periphery from the district/city headquarters, and the second was the one, situated at a distance of 20 km or more. 200 participants, i.e. 20 each from the selected 10 villages (who worked as NREGA wage worker)- were surveyed for detailed information. Further, for being elaborately familiarized with around realities in detail, 5 villagers (who did not work as ‘NREGA labourer) were surveyed from each of the 10 villages spread over 5 districts of Bihar. In this way, total sample size was 250. For the selection of participant households, stratified random sampling was used with Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste, Other Backward Caste and Forward Castes (others) given proportionate representation. Reference Period: The study used secondary data for the period before NREGA (i.e. 2001 and 2005) and particular ‘reference years 2009 to 2013’. For primary data, the selected year was 2009 (January- December) and some aspects were revisited in 2019.


    India Macroeconomics Quantitative Urban
  • Breaking new ground: women’s employment in India’s NREGA, the pandemic lifeline

    Swati Narayan. (2022). Gender & Development.


    ABSTRACT India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), in the last 15 years, has evolved as the world’s largest employer of the last resort. This social protection, specifically designed as a demand-driven automatic employment stabiliser to enable households to cope with livelihood shocks, offers 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to all rural households. The budget for this unique legislative entitlement in a developing country was nearly doubled from US$8 billion in 2019–20 to $15 billion in 2020–21 to partially offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. After the first pandemic wave, NREGA provided employment to 76 million households – more than a third of all rural Indian families. Even though women have consistently worked more than half the NREGA person-days annually, in the midst of the pandemic women’s share of employment declined by 2 per cent in 2020–21. However, this may have been a temporary decrease due to the unprecedented mass reverse exodus of urban migrants to their rural villages. Still, state-level analysis in this research highlights the persistent under-utilisation of NREGA by women in the poorer states of the Indo-Gangetic plain. On the other hand, the southern states have higher participation of women due to a combination of factors including better human development outcomes, higher wages, and sometimes better child-care facilities at worksites, which are necessary nationwide remedies. In particular, in the state of Kerala the novel integration of the government-initiated Kudumbashree community self-help women’s groups with NREGA has led to the feminisation of the programme. This convergence provides important insights on the significance of women’s participation in the decentralised management of NREGA to dilute both gender-intensive and gender-exclusive barriers, which could be fruitfully replicated nationwide.


    Gender India Quantitative Urban
  • Contribution of National Rural Employment Guarantee Program on Rejuvenation and Restoration of Community Forests in India

    Juliet Angom, P. K. Viswanathan. (2022). Frontiers in forests and global change.


    Sustainable development is one of the ubiquitous paradigms of this century. Poverty, biodiversity loss and climate change are some of the obstacles to achieving sustainable development. To mitigate these encumbrances, countries have painstakingly adopted various policies and interventions. Public work programs, one of the initiatives targeting the construction of strong social safety nets through redistribution of wealth and generation of meaningful employment are increasingly being launched in developing countries. This paper is an attempt to examine the effects of phased implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) on the rejuvenation and restoration of community forests in India. Searches performed in multidisciplinary electronic databases (Web of Science, Scopus, Science Direct, PubMed, Emerald Insight, Google Scholar, Taylor and Francis Online, Wiley Online Library, and Springer Link) indicated that MGREGS is one of the largest labor guarantee schemes ever recorded in India and globally, and has holistically contributed to reforestation and afforestation through its land development themes to reduce vulnerability of rural communities to recurrent droughts, floods and improve soil moisture and fertility. It is evident that MGNREGS in synergy with the government forest development programs have the potential to promote social afforestation, reforestation and biodiversity conservation as witnessed in the Sundarbans. These have the potential to empower local people through creation of income generating activities and provision of local forest goods and services. However, the creation of forests as rural assets necessitates that emphasis should be laid on their maintenance so as to ensure that they are given their due importance for sustainable and long-term benefit of the poor rural households. This study highlights the need to perform a comprehensive assessment of forest assets that has been established through MNREGS across states in India.


    Environmental Sustainability India
  • Decentralization, Equity, and Inclusion: An Overview and Sociolegal Analysis of India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

    Tomas S. Forman. (2022). Economic Democracy Initiative. Working Paper 06.


    This paper is primarily a sociolegal analysis of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). It focuses less on the quantitatively-measurable performance of the Act and its macroeconomic impacts, and more so on the way in which the Act explicitly delegates resources and discretionary powers to state and local governments. Such dissemination, I show, in turn facilitates more comprehensive, inclusive, and equitable decision-making processes in local development; specific focus is directed at the environmental and climate implications of the program. Drawing from social scientific research, legal scholarship, and the legislation itself, I demonstrate that despite some notable shortcomings, the Act’s legal and administrative framework can be seen as a global model for linking state resources with localized challenges and priorities, enabling not only a legally-enforceable availability to a vital social safety net, but also a framework of bottom-up accountability through which small scale development and environmental remediation projects can be undertaken through the lens of the needs of local people.


    Development Human Rights Implementation India
  • Decommodifying Work with a Job Guarantee

    Pavlina R. Tcherneva. (2022). In "Democratize Work: The Case for Organizing the Economy," I. Ferreras, J. Battilana, and D. Méda, (eds.), Chicago University Press, pp. 85-91.


    We work. We participate, care, and provide. We produce and re-produce. In the modern world, much of our work is commodified through private firms organizing production and employment for commercial return. Meanwhile, working people are often underpaid, brave dangerous conditions, and face the constant threat of unemployment. With or without COVID, the labor market is a cruel game of musical chairs in which hundreds of millions of people search fruitlessly for work while millions more endure precarious employment.

    Unemployment is a powerful, if silent, force of economic injustice. It has undermined the foundations of postwar labor relations, the social contract, and workplace solidarity. It looms in every negotiation between unions and firms and opens the door to job outsourcing, race-to-the-bottom pay practices, and the hiring of cheap migrant labor. The threat of unemployment has been and remains the most powerful coercive tool firms wield over their workers. The lives of the unemployed and the employed are thus shadowed by the same fate—the risk of economic insecurity.


    Human Rights Implementation Macroeconomics
  • Employment Guarantee during Covid-19: Role of MGNREGA in the year after the 2020 lockdown

    Research and Design by: Amit Basole, Raghav Chakravarthy, Anuradha De, Ashwini Kulkarni, Rajendran Narayanan, Meera Samson, B. Satheesha, P. S. Vijayshankar. Assistance by Akshit Arora, Raghav Chakravarthy, Pabitra Chowdhury, B. Satheesha. (2022). Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University and NREGA Consortium..


    COVID-19 pandemic underscores the role of MGNREGA as a safety net despite shortcomings, write the members of the Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University and NREGAConsortium.

    About 39 percent of all jobcard-holding households interested in working under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 did not get a single day of work in the Covid year of 2020 – 21. Also, on average, only 36 per cent of households that worked received their wages in 15 days, showed a survey of 2000 households across eight blocks in four states conducted by Azim Premji University in partnership with the National Consortium of Civil Society Organisations on NREGA and Collaborative Research and Dissemination (CORD).

    Despite these shortcomings, the study found that MGNREGA made a marked difference during the pandemic, protecting the most vulnerable households from significant loss of income. Increased earnings from MGNREGA were able to compensate for somewhere between 20 to 80 percent of income loss depending on the block.

    The survey was conducted in November-December 2021 in the following blocks: Phulparas (Madhubani) and Chhatapur (Supaul) in Bihar, Bidar (Bidar) and Devadurga (Raichur) in Karnataka, Khalwa (Khandwa) and Ghatigaon (Gwalior) in Madhya Pradesh, and Wardha (Wardha) and Surgana (Nashik) in Maharashtra. The sampling method of the study ensures that findings are representative of all job card holding households in the block.

    “Our study shows how much the workers value the need and utility of MGNREGA. More than 8 out of 10 households recommended that MGNREGA should provide 100 days of employment per person per year. We also find a massive extent of underfunding. A conservative estimate yields that the allocations in the surveyed blocks should have been three times the amount that was actually allocated in the year after lockdown to fulfill the true extent of work demand,“ noted Rajendran Narayanan, co-author of the study and faculty member at Azim Premji University.

    Azim Premji University 2022 (Employment guarantee during Covid-19)


    Health Implementation India Macroeconomics Quantitative
  • Employment Guarantee in Action: Insights from India

    Jean Drèze. (2022). Economic Democracy Initiative.


    India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (NREGA) is an experiment of major significance. It has demonstrated the soundness, feasibility and sustainability of employment guarantee over an extended period. NREGA provides a legal guarantee of employment on demand to all adults in rural areas, subject to a maximum of 100 days of work per household per year. Employment is provided on local public works identified through participatory planning at the village level.


    Development Human Rights Implementation India
  • Employment Guaranteed? Social Protection During a Pandemic

    Farzana Afridi, Kanika Mahajan, Nikita Sangwan. (2022). IZA Institute of Labor Economics.


    The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the potential of social protection programs in mitigating labor market shocks. We examine the role of one of the world’s largest employment guarantee schemes, India’s MG-NREGA, in cushioning job losses in one of the worst affected economies due to the pandemic. Our findings indicate that regions with greater historical state capacity to provide public workdays under the scheme generated relatively higher employment during the pandemic. Consequently, an increase in state capacity by one MG-NREGA workday per rural inhabitant in a district reduced job losses in rural areas in April-August 2020 by 7% overall and by 74% for rural women, over baseline employment rate. These cushioning effects strengthened as the mobility restrictions eased and were larger for women who were less mobile and less skilled. Our results suggest that employment guarantee programs can protect livelihoods, but for certain demographic groups relatively more than others depending on the nature and skill level of work offered.


    Gender Implementation India Macroeconomics Quantitative
  • European Job Guarantee

    Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Aurore Lalucq. (2022). Foundation for European Progressive Studies Special Report.


    As Europe faces structural unemployment, this policy brief proposes the establishment of a public Job Guarantee for job creation. The Guarantee would reduce the significant costs and deleterious effects of unemployment while providing the labour force and public sector with the capacity to start immediately tackling the social and environmental challenges communities face. It can achieve this by creating employment in areas of unmet social need, prioritising care and environmental services. As such, the Job Guarantee is a key piece of an effective environmental strategy, creating millions of new jobs and supporting a just transition of the workforce. The programme could be implemented and financed by the European Union through new or existing mechanisms, like SURE.


    Environmental Sustainability Europe Macroeconomics
  • Fifteen Years of India’s NREGA: Employer of the Last Resort?

    Swati Narayan. (2022). The Indian journal of labour economics.


    For the last decade, India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA, 2005) has been the world’s largest public works programme. This legal entitlement provided employment to 28 per cent of rural Indian households in 2019–2020. After the COVID-19 pandemic, NREGA is increasingly emerging as an invaluable employer of the last resort. However, longitudinal data of implementation in its first fifteen years reveal distinctive trends. On the one hand, since inception, NREGA has rendered greater benefits to women and marginalised communities. But on the other, since 2014 till before the pandemic, the present National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime has reduced NREGA coverage compared to its implementation during the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government which had enacted the legislation. Nevertheless, in light of the pandemic and based on international experiences in public work programmes, there is an urgent need for the expansion of the employment guarantee.


    Gender India Macroeconomics Quantitative
  • Job Guarantee as Tool for Women’s Empowerment: Propensity Score Matching Analysis

    Ashutosh Kumar, Rahul Singh. (2022). International journal of business and management.


    Women’s empowerment relies on access to resources routed through micro-credit, cash transfers, self-employment, or wage-based employment. Educational qualifications such as formal education or vocational training provide the routes for employment. However, the Indian job guarantee program Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) ensures a minimum of 100 days of job guarantee to anyone willing to work without any eligibility criteria related to formal education. While gendered provisions in the program are intended to encourage women’s participation to make them self-reliant, the safety net features also protect their dignity. Therefore, aspects related to women’s empowerment, such as their more significant say in household decision-making, may likely be impacted by the program. In addition, the program provides institutional support to women and access to resources through the wages earned. Analysis based on the robust propensity score matching analysis suggests that the women have been empowered from the point of view of household decision making. A similar analysis also holds for the women from the vulnerable sections of society. Hence, although intended for poverty alleviation, the programme acts as a tool for empowering rural women in India.


    Gender Macroeconomics Quantitative
  • NREGA: An effective way to fight poverty

    Dr. Raj Bihari Lal Srivastava. (2022). International journal of research in informative science application & techniques.


    Public works programs, aimed at building a strong social safety net through redistribution of wealth and generation of meaningful employment, are becoming increasingly popular in developing countries. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), enacted in August 2005, is one such program in India. This paper assesses causal impacts (Intent-to Treat) of NREGA on public works participation, labor force participation, and real wages of casual workers by exploiting its phased implementation across Indian districts. Using nationally representative data from Indian National Sample Surveys (NSS) and Difference-in Difference framework, we find that there is a strong gender dimension to the impacts of NREGA: it has a positive impact on the labor force participation and this impact is mainly driven by a much sharper impact on female labor force participation. Similarly, NREGA has a significant positive impact on the wages of female casual workers-real wages of female casual workers increased 8% more in NREGA districts compared with the increase experienced in non-NREGA districts. However, the impact of NREGA on wages of casual male workers has only been marginal (about 1%). Using data from pre-NREGA period, we also perform falsification exercise to demonstrate that the main conclusions are not confounded by pre-existing differential trends between NREGA and non-NREGA districts.


    Development Gender India Quantitative

    Nomazulu Sibanda, Vusilizwe Thebe. (2022). Journal of Social Sciences.


    This paper presents an analysis of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), one of the key South African government policy initiatives that are meant to ease the burden of poverty or unemployment on the poor and unskilled. Historically, such programmes have been used as a relief during short-term crises. Of late, countries have adopted them for long-term structural challenges. In South Africa the programme is meant to protect women and youth. This paper uses a mixed methodology approach to determine the active participation of women and youth in the EPWP and their chances of transitioning into the labour market. The study also solicited the views of the EPWP participants (active and former) and officials to get information which is not captured in the programme’s official reports. The analytical procedure involved document analysis, focusing on EPWP reports from phases One (1) to Three (3) of the programme. The study makes two propositions: the need for public private partnerships to solve the country’s unemployment challenge because independent policies for government or markets are inadequate; a new programme design which separates job seekers from social protection beneficiaries. In its current form, the EPWP is designed as a lower tier poverty trap.


    Africa Gender Youth
  • The impact of the productive safety net program (PSNP) on food security and asset accumulation of rural households’: evidence from Gedeo zone, Southern Ethiopia

    Tasew Tadesse, Tariku Gebremedhin Zeleke. (2022). Cogent economics & finance.


    Abstract Ethiopia’s productive safety net program (PSNP) is aimed at providing transfers to the food insecure people in chronically food-insecure woredas. The program’s objectives include improving food security, protecting assets, and strengthening household and community resilience to shocks. This study evaluates the impact of PSNP on the beneficiary households’ food security, income, and asset holdings in the Gedeo administrative zone of Southern Ethiopia. We use survey data from 395 randomly selected households, out of which 195 are beneficiaries and 197 non-beneficiaries. Methodologically, we employ the propensity score matching (PSM) method to assess the impact of the PSNP on the welfare of beneficiary households. For this purpose, we use two specific outcomes of the PSNP: food security and asset holdings of participating households. Using the propensity score matching method, we find that the PSNP enhances the consumption expenditure, daily calorie intake, and annual income of participating households relative to a similar group of non-participating poor households. Our findings suggest that the PSNP is vital to improving income and food security at the household level in chronically food-insecure areas.


    Africa Development Quantitative
  • The Job Guarantee and Economic Democracy: Why a legally-enforceable right to employment is needed and how it can be implemented

    Pavlina R. Tcherneva. (2022). Revue Européenne du droit. Volume 4: Rethinking Capitalism.


    Twelve years after the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, the world faced another upheaval – a pandemic that had once again laid bare an inescapable reality: the global economy consistently fails to provide basic economic security for all. Whatever crisis a country faces – financial, public health, geo-political, or environmental – jobs are dependably the first casualty. The status quo argues that unemployment is normal and largely inescapable. Worse, the longstanding mainstream view in economics of the ‘natural rate’ of unemployment (and the related NAIRU concept) argues that unemployment is required for economic and price stability.

    Long gone is the urgent international dialogue of the postwar era on how to secure global full employment—the unqualified precondition for reaping the benefits of free trade. Mass unemployment and precarious employment not only reproduced and fed inequality, but also chipped away at economic democracy and undermined social solidarity within national borders and beyond. None of this was inevitable. Far from being natural or unavoidable, mass unemployment and precarious employment are the product of specific policy commitments. And the global economy has borne the social, economic, and political costs.


    Europe Implementation Inflation Macroeconomics
  • The Job Guarantee as it Relates to People with Disabilities

    Tyler C. Emerson. (2022). Bard College Digital Commons.


    We accept unemployment as an inevitability in our capitalist economy even when it is purportedly functioning at full capacity. Some economists propose that the government could directly intervene in the labor market to meet the peoples’ demand for jobs. Work in modern America is a central aspect of participation in society that directly impacts individuals’ identities. Unemployment is, therefore, a key mechanism of social exclusion. The Federal Job Guarantee seeks to provide work directly for the unemployed with work that serves the public good.

    People with disabilities disproportionately suffer from unemployment, underemployment, and often leave the workforce entirely. The majority of foreclosures and bankruptcies result from costs associated with a disability. A variety of social programs exist to support the livelihoods of people with disabilities, from supplemental income and medicare, to vocational rehabilitation services. To qualify for these benefits, people with disabilities must demonstrate their inability to work. Working can jeopardize their financial stability and access to affordable care. Advancing the rights of people with disabilities in the workplace is of great concern.

    Writing on the Job Guarantee has not previously investigated the impact of this sweeping labor policy on people with disabilities. This research addresses the potential impact of the Job Guarantee on people with disabilities of all kinds and people in the disability community like caregivers. Interviews of eight people with disabilities and a number of professionals at the intersection of employment and disability helped craft recommendations for the design, implementation, and maintenance of a Job Guarantee.


    Health Human Rights Implementation Macroeconomics North America
  • A Just Transition Needs a Job Guarantee

    Pavlina R. Tcherneva. (2021). PS New Summits, Special Issue of Project Syndicate on the Climate Crisis, pp. 74-79.


    A job guarantee is necessary both for managing the disruptions wrought by global warming and for achieving a smooth, just transition to a low-carbon economy. And since the policy is also wildly popular, it should be a no-brainer for any politician who claims to be serious about tackling the climate crisis.


    Environmental Sustainability Macroeconomics
  • Does a job guarantee pay off? The fiscal costs of fighting long-term unemployment in Austria

    Simon Theurl, Dennis Tamesberger. (2021). European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention.


    The idea of a job guarantee (JG) to tackle unemployment has become popular again over recent years. Critics often point to the fiscal costs and the macroeconomic impact of a government financing full employment. In this paper, we analyse the fiscal costs of a JG for long-term unemployed people over the age of 45 in Austria. We show that a JG pays off in the long run. Even if the amount of jobs to be provided increases in times of a recession, or if a government starts with a certain amount of jobs and increases it afterwards, the JG would pay for itself.


    Europe Macroeconomics Modeling Quantitative
  • Employer of Last Resort as a new ‘New Deal’: A few thoughts on Turkey

    Ilker Aslan. (2021). American Review of Political Economy.


    Modern Monetary Theory emerges as a plausible alternative to solve Turkey’s staggering unemployment problem. This proposed solution here is the introduction of job guarantee program, which produces a non-discretionary automatic stabilizer that fosters both price stability and full employment. As a monetary sovereign, Turkey has the capacity to use deficit spending to bring growth and provide full employment to the millions who are in involuntary unemployment. The goal here is to tame the business cycles without throwing millions into unemployment, which has social and economic ramifications. In the absence of job creation by the private sector, this can be achieved through the use of government, providing job guarantees and the state acting as an employer of last resort by creating public projects, which will be cyclically adjusted in order to achieve full employment.


    Asia Macroeconomics
  • Employer of Last Resort for the Czech Republic

    Filip Červenka. (2021). Prague Economic Papers.


    This article simulates a programme called Employer of Last Resort, and analyses its potential impact in the Czech Republic. The design of the programme guarantees perfectly inelastic demand for labour at a given wage level. In practice, the state would offer a job to anyone willing to work in order to eliminate involuntary unemployment, reduce poverty and income inequality and secure stable growth. My aim is to estimate hypothetical effects on the main objectives and calculate fiscal demands if the programme was launched on the Czech labour market. The results suggest that the programme could significantly reduce unemployment and decrease income inequality. On the other hand, it would have limited impact on income poverty. The gross wage costs of implementing the Employer of Last Resort programme in the Czech Republic are in all constructed scenarios below 1% of the gross domestic product and further calculations suggest that the total net costs could even be negative.


    Europe Macroeconomics Modeling Quantitative
  • From Stigma to Dignity? Transforming Workfare with Universal Basic Income and a Federal Job Guarantee

    Lynn Lu. (2021). Social Science Research Network.


    As the COVID-19 pandemic takes a catastrophic toll on lives and livelihoods across the United States, the harshest impact of the unpredictable virus has disproportionately fallen with foreseeable accuracy on Black, immigrant, poor, and elderly people, who are most likely to live and work in close contact with others and to have less access to health care or emergency savings. The speed and severity of the viral contagion has rendered devastatingly, undeniably visible the vast, racial gap between those with reliable health care, child care, housing, nutrition, household wealth, and income and those without, but that gap was already widening well before the pandemic amid accelerating economic inequality, racial disparity, and precarity for those fortunate enough to find paid work.
    By the summer of 2020, pandemic isolation gave way to mass protests supporting the Movement for Black Lives with calls to end anti-Black police brutality and mass incarceration, but also seeking to end exploitation of Black essential workers and increase attention to longstanding economic devastation of divestment from communities of color. With physical health and safety linked inextricably to material deprivation came heightened public demands for racial, social, and economic justice to help marginalized communities not just survive in times of crisis, but thrive every day.
    This Article examines reinvigorated proposals for universal basic income (UBI) and a federal job guarantee (JG) to reduce poverty, income inequality, and the widening racial wealth gap. It examines the potential of such reforms to put more money into the hands of those most likely to use it while ending involuntary unemployment and boosting labor conditions for all, but especially Blacks and people of color with less access to generational wealth, higher education, and protection against employment discrimination. It concludes that both UBI and JG are necessary but each insufficient on its own to achieve greater economic security and mobility, with dignified work for all.
    Crucially, a universal minimum income untethered to any form of work requirement is essential to break the racialized and gendered stigma that frames economic need as welfare dependency; equally important is the guarantee of public employment at a living wage to those who voluntarily choose to avoid gaps in earned income and employment history but have historically been excluded from the best work-life options. Together, UBI and JG form vital pillars of social support for withstanding future crises, large or small, and for creating the future society we want.


    Macroeconomics Racial Justice
  • Leveraging social protection to advance climate-smart agriculture: An empirical analysis of the impacts of Malawi’s Social Action Fund (MASAF) on farmers’ adoption decisions and welfare outcomes

    Antonio Scognamillo, Nicholas J. Sitko. (2021). World Development.


    Abstract This article assesses the interactions between participation in Malawi’s largest public works programme, the Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF), and three widely promoted climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices. Drawing on three waves of national panel household survey data, we find that participation in MASAF significantly increases the probability that farm households adopt the resource intensive CSA practices of building soil water conservation structures and applying organic fertilizers. Moreover, participation in MASAF contributes to a sustained adoption of these practices over multiple agricultural seasons. We empirically demonstrate that the standalone impact of the CSA practices on maize productivity and the value of crops harvested under normal and dry conditions is, in most cases, not significantly different from zero. However, we find a reduction in sensitivity to low precipitation when MASAF participation occurs in the previous agricultural season. Moreover, the joint treatment effect of MASAF participation with sustained adoption of soil water conservation structures substantially increases households’ productivity and welfare. This synergistic benefit is likely driven by the transfer of skills learned during MASAF public works to farmers’ own fields. Results suggest that the CSA agenda can be enhanced by explicitly integrating existing social protection interventions with the promotion of CSA practices.


    Africa Development Environmental Sustainability Quantitative
  • Market socialism, labour market domination, and the state as employer of last resort

    Alan Thomas. (2021). Review of Social Economy.


    This paper assesses the claim that to avoid labour market domination we must be market socialists committed to an extensive sector of worker-owned firms. The labour republican tradition offers thre…


  • Pandemic effects on public service employment in Australia

    Linda Colley, Shelley Woods, Brian Head. (2021). Economic and Labour Relations Review.


    The COVID-19 pandemic is sending shockwaves through communities and economies, and public servants have risen to the novel policy challenges in uncharted waters. This crisis comes on top of considerable turmoil for public services in recent decades, with public management reforms followed by the global financial crisis (GFC) leading to considerable change to public sector employment relations and a deprivileging of public servants. The research adopts the lens of the ‘public service bargain’ to examine the effects of the pandemic across Australian public services. How did Australian public service jurisdictions approach public employment in 2020, across senior and other cohorts of employees? How did this pandemic response compare to each jurisdictions’ response to the GFC a decade earlier? The research also reflects more broadly of the impact on public sector employment relations and to what extent pandemic responses have altered concepts of the diminished public service bargain or the notion of governments as model employers? JEL Codes J45


    Australia Implementation Macroeconomics Quantitative
  • Social protection and resilience: The case of the productive safety net program in Ethiopia

    Kibrom A. Abay, Mehari Hiluf Abay, Guush Berhane, Jordan Chamberlin. (2021). Food Policy.


    Improving household resilience is becoming one of the key focus and target of social protection programs in Africa. However, there is surprisingly little direct evidence of the impacts of social protection programs on household resilience measures. We use five rounds of panel data to examine rural households’ resilience outcomes associated with participation in Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Nets Program (PSNP). Following Cissé and Barrett (2018), we employ a probabilistic moment-based approach for measuring resilience and evaluate the role of PSNP transfers and duration of participation on households’ resilience. We document four important findings. First, although PSNP transfers are positively associated with resilience, PSNP transfers below the median are less likely to generate meaningful improvements in resilience. Second, continuous participation in the PSNP participation is associated with higher resilience. Third, combining safety nets with income generating or asset building initiatives may be particularly efficacious at building poor households’ resilience. Fourth, our evaluation of both short-term welfare outcomes and longer-term resilience suggests that these outcomes are likely to be driven by different factors, suggesting that optimizing intervention designs for improving short term welfare impacts may not necessarily improve households’ resilience, and vice versa. Together, our findings imply that effectively boosting household resilience may require significant transfers over multiple years. National safety nets programs that transfer small amounts to beneficiaries over limited time horizons may not be very effective.


    Africa Development Quantitative
  • Social Welfare, Elections, and Urban Politics: The Case of the Epwp in South Africa

    Ben Scully, Adam Harris. (2021). IV ISA Forum of Sociology.


    The paper examines the politics of state job creation policy in South Africa. We focus on the construction industry, which is a major sector for job creation policy, especially through a large scale public works programme. We argue that, while the creation of jobs is framed by government as a path towards dignity and social inclusion for poor and unemployed citizens, the precarious reality of low-wage work in the construction industry undermines the potential pro-social effects of wage employment. Beneficiaries of job creation policy often experience frustration and alienation, and the construction sites on which they work are often marked by conflict and disruption. We describe two different forms that this conflict takes, on the one hand demanding wage work as a citizenship right, on the other eschewing generalized citizenship claims in favour of particularistic and exclusionary demands for jobs based on localized identities. These seemingly contradictory but intertwined types of conflict show the complexity of the relationship between state job creation and citizenship rights in an industry and an economy defined by precarious forms of employment.


    Africa Implementation Urban Youth
  • Strengthening the National Rural Transport Program (SNRTP) NEPAL: Decent employment through maintenance first approach for better road connectivity

    International Labor Organization. (2021). ILO Brief.


    The ILO funded and implemented a year-long pilot project, which provided useful lessons for the design of the Strengthening the National Rural Transport Program (SNRTP). Building on ILO’s 40 years of expertise and experience in the implementation of rural roads interventions across the globe and on previous experiences in Nepal, the pilot project was implemented in five districts, successfully developing a sustainable and systematic asset management structure focused on maintaining the existing assets. Implemented with the development objective of enhancing the availability and reliability of transport connectivity in 37 districts, the SNRTP benefited 15.7 million people, i.e., more than half the total population in Nepal. SNRTP’s success was measured by two outcome indicators: (i) the percentage of population within 2-4 hours walking distance in the participating Terai and hill districts and (ii) the percentage of the core network roads in participating districts rated in ‘good’ or ‘fair’ condition.


    Asia Development
  • The Employer of Last Resort Scheme and the Energy Transition: A Stock-Flow Consistent Analysis

    Giuliano Toshiro Yajima. (2021). The Levy Economics Institute.


    The health and economic crises of 2020–21 have revived the debate on fiscal policy as a major tool for stabilization and meeting long-term goals. The massive surge in unemployment, due to the economic disruption of the lockdown measures, has increased the interest in policies that target employment directly instead of trying to achieve it via a general “demand push.” One of the proposals currently under debate is the job guarantee. Under such a policy the government would act as an “employer of last resort” by offering a job to everyone that is able and wants to work but cannot find a job in the private sector. This paper argues that a carefully designed scheme of direct employment and public provision by the state—addressing both the low- and high-skill workforce—can have permanent effects and promote the economy’s structural transformation, in particular by fostering energy transition and a lower carbon footprint. Starting from this point, a stock-flow consistent model is developed to study the long-run effect of the job guarantee’s implementation, inspired by the work of Godin (2013) and Sawyer and Passarella (2021).


    Environmental Sustainability Macroeconomics Modeling Quantitative
  • The Job Guarantee and the Phillips Curve

    William Mitchell. (2021). The Japanese Political Economy.


    Many of the major debates in macroeconomics are conducted within the Phillips Curve framework. The debate has moved over time from the policy menu tradeoff between inflation and unemployment to the…


    Australia Macroeconomics
  • The Job Guarantee: MMT’s Proposal for Full Employment and Price Stability

    Pavlina R. Tcherneva. (2021). Economic Democracy Initiative. Working Paper 02.


    Orthodox economic theory presents the policy maker with an impossible choice: eradicate unemployment at the cost of undesirable inflation or keep prices stable by maintaining some level of involuntary unemployment. This is the canon, as embodied in the natural rate of unemployment theory and the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (NAIRU). In the mainstream, there is no alternative. Heterodoxy has long criticized the NAIRU and the natural rate, but has not mounted a robust challenge for lack of a clearly articulated policy alternative that can target both goals: full employment and price stability. Modern Money Theory (MMT) has such a proposal – the federal Job Guarantee.


    Inflation Macroeconomics
  • The Pedagogy of the Job Guarantee

    Jakob Feinig, Diren Valayden. (2021). The Radical Teacher.


    In this article, we offer a pedagogical framework that explores possibilities for the democratic control over socio-economic life via a Job Guarantee (JG), the legally guaranteed and publicly financed right to productive work with benefits wherever one lives, or wants to live. In the first part of the JG project, students interview local leaders and residents to gauge what people can do for each other. Through these interviews, students and community members identify untapped possibilities and think about matching local needs with local skills in a collaborative process. The interviews and other class activities are designed to familiarize students with the JG framing that sees unemployed people as an asset not a burden. This framework challenges the dehumanizing idea that people can be superfluous, useless, a threat, or a burden. We also situate the JG as part of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and discuss money as a governance mechanism that enables people to organize, and potentially democratize, socio-economic life.


    Human Rights Macroeconomics
  • Unconditional Basic Income and State as an Employer of Last Resort: A Reply to Alan Thomas

    Roberto Merrill, Catarina Neves. (2021). Basic Income Studies.


    Abstract In a larger context of an egalitarian project which aims to reformulate capitalism a job guarantee program in the form of a State as an Employer of Last Resort (SELR) is considered superior to Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) by many, namely Alan Thomas. This article claims that most of the arguments used to assert the superiority of SELR fail their objective, for the following reasons: first, SELR falls short in its reformulation of capitalism because neither SELR nor UBI alone can euthanize the rentier class. Second, most accounts are based on a flawed assumption that UBI leads to rampage inflation. Third, if macroeconomic considerations are not enough to justify implementing SELR over UBI, then insisting on the superiority of SELR can only stem from two types of moral reasons: on one hand from a perfectionist view of empowering the worst-off through labor and on the other from demands and obligations of reciprocity. We argue that these two moral-based reasons fall short of providing a justification for the superiority of SELR over UBI. We conclude our paper defending the possibility of conciliating the two policies.


  • What Jobs Should a Public Job Guarantee Provide?: Lessons from Hyman P. Minsky

    Daniel Haim. (2021). The Levy Economics Institute.


    The job guarantee is a viable policy option for tackling both unemployment and underemployment. Hyman P. Minsky was one of the seminal writers on this subject. The first part of this working paper provides a survey of Minsky’s writings to identify what kind of jobs he had in mind when recommending employer-of-last-resort policies. Minsky favored: (1) jobs increasing socially useful output, providing all of society better public services and goods; (2) jobs guaranteed by the public sector on a project-by-project basis at a minimum wage; (3) jobs in the places where people need them; and (4) jobs taking the people that need them as they are. The second part of the paper suggests policy recommendations for today’s economy. As long as the COVID-19 pandemic still rages on, a targeted public job guarantee program can assist in the social provisioning and distribution of food, shelter, and medical services. After the pandemic, a public job guarantee can reduce poverty and inequality, and bring about a more democratic, sustainable, and socially cohesive economic system.


  • Why Has Labor Not Demanded Full Employment?

    Jon D. Wisman, Michael Cauvel. (2021). Journal of Economic Issues.


    Unemployment has almost always been traumatic for its victims. In earlier times, it threatened extreme privation, if not starvation. Still today, it dramatically decreases its victims’ standard of living, human capital, social standing, and self-respect. It is associated with poorer health, family dissolution, and suicide. Unemployment also entails considerable costs to society such as lost output, increased crime, decayed neighborhoods, and when extreme, political unrest. Why, then, is it tolerated? Why, especially, have workers and their advocates not demanded that employment be guaranteed to all? This article explores why what has always been foremost to workers’ interests—security of employment—has only rarely resulted in a demand for guaranteed employment. Although many employed workers might feel job-secure and thus see little need for guaranteed employment, all are vulnerable to the overpoweringly seductive dominant ideology serving the interests of the owners of the means of production that blames the unemployed for their fate, creating hostility to the very idea of guaranteed employment. This article explores the history of how this ideology has served to block creation of a basic human right to work.


  • Chinese Green Job Guarantee: A Roadmap for Sustainable Prosperity

    Yijia Huang. (2020). Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity.


    This paper proposes a centrally funded and locally administered Chinese Green Job Guarantee to achieve three goals. First, to eliminate China’s 24.27 million urban unemployment by providing a public job to anyone willing, able, and ready to work. Second, to achieve public purposes (building infrastructure, addressing environmental degradation, and preserving traditional culture, etc.) by hiring the previously unemployed 24.27 million Chinese workers. Third, to promote organic economic growth with the increased consumption from the 24.27 million JG workers. Increasing China’s fiscal deficit by 1.58% of 2019 GDP would have financed a complete Chinese Green JG to eliminate the 24.27 million people experiencing urban unemployment and elevate GDP growth rate to the 9.23% and 10.65% range in 2019. Moreover, China’s deficit spending to finance the Green JG is not only sustainable but also functional. Finally, the paper explores the design of a Chinese Green JG, such as how it should be administered, what jobs it could create, and why China should adopt a gradualist approach.


    Asia Environmental Sustainability Macroeconomics Urban
  • Créer une garantie d’emploi pour tous et toutes

    Pavlina R. Tcherneva . (2020). In "Le Manifeste Travail: Démocratiser, Démarchandiser, Dépolluer," in I. Ferreras, J. Battilana, and D. Méda, (eds.), France: Le Seuil, pp. 125-137.


    Nous travaillons. Nous participons, nous produisons et nous prenons soins des autres. Dans le monde contemporain, une grande partie de notre travail est transformé en marchandise par des entreprises privées qui organisent la production et l’emploi en vue d’un gain commercial. Dans le même temps, les travailleur·euse·s sont souvent sous-payé·e·s, obligé·e·s d’effectuer leurs tâches dans de dangereuses conditions, confronté·e·s en permanence à la menace du chômage. Avec ou sans la covid 19, le marché du travail est un jeu de chaises musicales impitoyable, dans lequel des millions de personnes cherchent en vain du travail tandis que des millions d’autres endurent un emploi précaire.

    Le chômage est un moteur puissant, quoique silencieux, d’injustice économique. Il a miné les fondations des relations professionnelles de l’après-guerre, le contrat social et la solidarité entre les travailleur·euse·s. Il plane sur toutes les négociations entre syndicats et entreprises et favorise les externalisations et la sous-traitance, il tire vers le bas les rémunérations et incite à recourir à la main d’œuvre bon marché fournie par les migrants. La menace du chômage reste le moyen de coercition le plus puissant à disposition des entreprises pour contraindre leurs employé·e·s. Celles et ceux qui ont un emploi, comme celles et ceux qui n’en ont pas subissent le même sort : ils et elles ont perdu la capacité de se faire entendre leur voix sur ce marché du travail.


    Europe Human Rights Implementation Macroeconomics