#28 Six months after the COVID-19 outbreak: How did workers in four African countries fare?

Photo: World Bank Authors: Ivette Maria Contreras-González, Gbemisola Oseni, Amparo Palacios-Lopez, Janneke Pieters and Michael Weber Labor markets continue to be a key transmission channel of the economic impact of COVID-19. As a result, tracking the trends in labor markets is paramount to gaining a better understanding of the economic impacts of the pandemic. Proper…


#27 Why did some countries’ workforces fare better than others in the early pandemic?

Photo: World Bank Authors: Johanne Buba, Hannah Uckat, Leonardo Iacovone, Denis Medvedev The COVID-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on the global economy, with world output falling by 3.5 percent year-on-year in 2020. Despite these large output losses, surveys from more than 60 countries conducted by the World Bank and partners between April and December 2020…


#13 Africa’s Manufacturing Puzzle: Evidence from Tanzanian and Ethiopian Firms

Photo credit: Rob Beechey / World Bank   Authors: Xinshen Diaoa, Mia Ellisb, Margaret McMillanc, and Dani Rodrikd Some economists have called into question the primacy of manufacturing. For example, Gollin (2018) questions whether there is anything special about manufacturing and asks whether economists’ emphasis on manufacturing as a path to development reflects our lack…


#24 Developing countries introduced an unprecedented social protection and jobs policy response to mitigate the effects of the pandemic

Photo credit: Paul Salazar / World Bank   Authors: Michael Weber and David Newhouse  Unlike the global financial crisis, both voluntary and mandated restrictions on mobility have directly affected labor markets. The scale of labor market disruption in developing countries has been massive. In its latest update, the ILO estimated a loss of 255 million…

covid refugees

#23 How digital solutions can ease the COVID-19 impact on displaced populations

Photo:  Li Wenyong / World Bank   Authors: Jana Kuhnt and Kirsten Schuettler Displaced people face many challenges when integrating into the labor market in their host communities. They are also more likely than the host population to be employed in sectors that are highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as manufacturing, accommodation, and food services. And  …

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#12 Is Self-Employment in Developing Countries a Steppingstone to Better Jobs? New Evidence from Panel Surveys

Photo credit: Scott Wallace / World Bank   Authors: Kevin Donovan, Will Jianyu Lu, and Todd Schoellman Economic development requires the reallocation of workers to more productive occupations, sectors, and regions. As such, evidence on labor market dynamics is critical for understanding whether labor markets are enabling the necessary movements of workers. In our recent…