This new blog series presents and deepens key global findings from the Jobs Group of the World Bank on Jobs and Structural Change in the context of Jobs Diagnostics. Our aim is to better inform practitioners, such as those in our community of practitioners, so that they can develop country-specific strategies for jobs and economic transformation.

The unifying theme behind this series is that workers benefit from economic growth when they enter the labor force and find a job, get better at the jobs they already hold, or move to better, higher-productivity jobs. The links between jobs, structural change, and economic transformation are easier to understand when we identify the transitions that people make into the workforce and in the type of work they do, as the economy grows and transforms.

The blogs adopt the World Bank’s Jobs Diagnostic approach, which uses a guided inquiry to analyze how the structure of economies changes over time. The inquiry investigates how jobs and work are evolving, who gets them, and what facilitates and constrains workers in making transitions in the work they do, as the economy grows.

Jobs Diagnostics analyze labor demography, dependency ratios, sectoral patterns of production and employment and labor productivity, the education of the workforce, and returns to education. They analyze workers’ transitions from school to work, from unemployment to employment, and back into the workforce, and the changing pattern of occupations across sectors for different groups of workers over time. In some countries, Jobs Diagnostics analyze business dynamics to identify which firms create what type of jobs. Over 40 are completed and underway in the Bank, and the Jobs Group has created global data and tools that analyze episodes of economic transformation and job creation across countries.

#4 Labor Productivity Grows Faster in Developing Countries When Labor Moves from Agriculture into Waged Jobs

Author: Dino Merotto, Jobs Group, World Bank. Blog #1 in our series showed that growth in labor productivity explains the differences in per capita income growth across countries. When we break down labor productivity growth into within and between sector components, we see that the reallocation of labor from lower productivity agriculture to higher productivity…

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#8 Which Comes First – the Chicken, the Egg, or the Demand for Poultry Products? Engels Law and the Design of Jobs Strategies in Low-Income Countries (LICs)

Authors: Dino Merotto and Elena Casanovas, Jobs Group, World Bank. In in blog #2 and blog #3 in this series we focused on the evolution of the sectoral pattern of production and jobs as countries develop. But new research suggests that changing patterns of consumption and net trade should also be taken into account when…

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#9 Jobs and Structural Change: What’s different about resource-rich countries?

Authors: Andreas Eberhard-Ruiz and Kevwe Pela, Jobs Group, World Bank. In this blog, we explore whether the process of structural change differs between resource-rich and resource-poor economies, and discuss the implications of our findings for jobs strategies in resource-rich countries. The ‘Great Convergence’ of global incomes seen over the last 30 years, was triggered by…

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#10 In Low Income Countries It Is Factor Accumulation That Drives Transformative Growth

Author: Dino Merotto Jobs Group, World Bank If you haven’t read Easterly and Levine’s “It’s Not Factor Accumulation” you should. But you should also read Klenow and Rodriguez-Clare’s “The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?”. Since it was published in 2001, Easterly and Levine’s ideas have shaped much of World Bank…

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#11 Youthful Countries Face Steeper Challenges Creating Better Jobs With Structural Change

Authors: Dino Merotto, Jörg Langbein, & Michael Weber In this blog, we explore how the challenges of delivering better jobs through structural change differ depending on where a country is in its demographic transition. We draw implications for jobs strategies in youthful countries. When developing countries enter the demographic transition the share of youth in…

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