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Reforming Minimum Wage and Labor Regulation Policy in Developing and Transition Economies

14 Oct 2014 - 13:30
Minimum Wages_COPYRIGHT Watchdog.org
Minimum Wages_COPYRIGHT Watchdog.org

 

Reforming Minimum Wage and Labor Regulation Policy in Developing and Transition Economies Conference at Beijing Normal University, October 18-19, 2014, organized by:

Haroon Bhorat (University of Cape Town); Ravi Kanbur (Cornell University) and Li Shi (Beijing Normal University)

This workshop will bring together the best research on labor regulation and enforcement in developing and transition economies, to assess context specific directions of reform. The workshop will take place over two days, and will involve the presentation and discussion of around 15 papers in total. There will be a policy panel on the second day of the conference, and key policy makers have been invited to interact with researchers and their findings.

"Labor regulations are a central aspect of the policy discourse in developing and transition economies, with diametrically opposite perspectives dominating the debate. On the one hand are those who think such regulation is inimical to both efficiency (because of distortions of incentives to enterprises) and equity (because they create a divide between insiders who are protected by the regulations and outsiders who are not). Opposing them are those who support regulation because it can correct market failure (for example, when there is high degree of employer power) and enhance equity through ensuring better conditions of work. While the discourse traverses the whole of gamut of labor regulations, minimum wage laws are particular point of focus in the debate.

There are at least two reasons why this sharp dichotomy is not useful in the policy debate. First, the polarizing nexus is not conducive to identifying empirically the conditions under which regulations do and do not contribute to equity and efficiency. Second, both ends of the policy stance in effect assume full enforcement of the regulation, which is indeed far from empirical reality. Policy decisions on enforcement thus become an indispensable part of the agenda."

Click here for the full conference programme.