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The Global Crisis in Emerging Economies: The Jobs Impact and Policy Response

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Abstract:

This chapter examines the impact of the global economic crisis on labour markets in emerging economies and the role of employment and social policies to support workers and their families affected by the crisis. The increase in unemployment and underemployment has put considerable pressure on existing social support systems in all emerging economies. Even in normal times, social safety nets in emerging economies have great difficulty in providing effective support to all those who need it. This raises concerns about the administrative capacity and fiscal resources available to scale up social safety nets rapidly enough to meet the increase in needs, while maintaining their effectiveness. Most emerging countries are also facing the challenge of providing support to workers directly affected by the global crisis while also helping poor households that may have become ever poorer. This means that employment and social policies should be prepared to address the needs of very different groups. Three different types of employment and social policy measures are considered: unemployment compensation schemes; cash transfers programmes and public works programmes. The most important lesson from this chapter is that in order to respond effectively to the sudden increase in social needs, it is crucial to already have social protection programmes in place.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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