International Labour Review

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  • Full and productive employment in developing economies: Towards the Sustainable Development Goals, by Rizwanul ISLAM
  • ISO 45001 and controversial transnational private regulation for occupational health and safety

    This article analyses the genesis of the ISO 45001 standard on occupational health and safety, a new initiative of transnational private regulation. The authors draw a picture of controversy from interviews with stakeholders involved in its design, approval and initial dissemination, and from a qualitative content analysis of the internal documentation of the committee responsible for its approval. Like its predecessors relating to environmental management – ISO 14001 – and corporate social responsibility – ISO 26000 – this new standard raises serious concerns among stakeholders given that it deals with substantive political, social and legal issues.

  • Employment effects of skills around the world: Evidence from the PIAAC

    Using an international survey that directly assesses the cognitive skills of participants, the author studies the effect of skills on employment in 32 countries. On average, a 1 standard deviation increase in numeracy is associated with an 8.4 percentage point increase in the probability of being employed, reducing the probability of being out of the labour force and unemployed by 6.4 and 2.1 percentage points, respectively. After controlling for numeracy, the estimated employment effect of years in education falls by one third, from 2.7 to 1.8 percentage points. Notably, the employment effect of skills is more pronounced in countries with higher unemployment.

  • Research handbook on labour, business and human rights law, edited by Janice R. BELLACE and Beryl TER HAAR
  • The future of work: Meeting the global challenges of demographic change and automation

    This article explores future job creation needs under conditions of demographic, economic and technological change. The authors first estimate the implications for job creation during 2020–30 of population growth, changes in labour force participation and the achievement of target unemployment rates, by age and sex. Second, they analyse the job creation needs by country income group and, lastly, examine the effects of accelerated automation. Projections indicate that shifting demographics will account for a far greater share of the estimated global need for 340 million jobs over 2020–30 than automation.

  • Does deregulation decrease unemployment? An empirical analysis of the Spanish labour market

    Spain underwent two major labour reforms in 2010 and 2012 under the assumption that deregulating the labour market and decentralizing collective bargaining would automatically reduce unemployment (deregulation hypothesis). This article highlights the impact of demand and the sectoral structure of the economy to explain the behaviour of this variable (structural hypothesis). Analysing subnational panel data, the authors assess the capacity of these two hypotheses to explain unemployment trends. Their results cast doubt on the deregulation hypothesis and indicate the importance of cyclical and structural factors.

  • Issue Information – TOC
  • To what extent is social security spending associated with enhanced firm‐level performance? A case study of SMEs in Indonesia

    Although the relationship between social protection and enterprise performance is much debated in the literature, evidence is particularly limited in the case of small and medium‐sized enterprises in developing economies. Using census data from 2010 to 2014, this article examines how the provision of social security influenced business performance in Indonesia. The author finds that increased social security spending of 10 per cent is associated with a per‐worker revenue gain of up to 2 per cent. Moreover, profits are not found to decrease with increased social protection coverage, suggesting that increasing worker benefits may be a worthwhile business investment.

  • Freedom of association in the Bangladeshi garment industry: A policy schizophrenia in labour regulation

    The right to freedom of association is fundamental for the establishment of labour unionism as an institution. While the Government of Bangladesh requires enabling legal provisions for unionization in its garment industry, regulation to ensure the right to freedom of association has proved ineffective in upholding labour unionism. This article highlights the need for legislation capable of drawing on the complementary skills and resources of the Government, factory owners, labour unions and global brands to secure a sustained commitment and contribution towards the socio‐economic and political dimensions of labour relations in Bangladesh's ready‐made garment industry.

  • Measuring the effect of matching problems on unemployment

    This article shows how matching problems reduce employment figures – and hence also raise those for unemployment – by creating a gap between labour demand and employment. It also shows how this gap can be measured by unfilled jobs (unmet demand) as distinct from job vacancies (recruitment processes) and reports results from the Swedish vacancy survey which measures both. In fact, while a shift of the matching function indicating longer recruitment times suggests increasing matching problems, this can only be verified by measuring unfilled jobs, which also quantifies the effect on unemployment.

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