The twin forces of technological change and globalization are reshaping the global economy. Nowhere are their effects more pronounced than in labor markets. Considerable attention is now being devoted to analyzing and anticipating changing patterns of employment and wages in advanced economies. Yet the implications for developing economies are even more consequential given the necessity of productive jobs for people to escape poverty.
From August 3 to 5, the 13th annual Brookings Blum Roundtable will examine the future of work in the developing world: the jobs that will dominate labor markets and the terms of employment; the skills they demand and how those skills will be acquired; and the implications for development and society.
The roundtable will be guided by three overarching questions: How will the world of work change in the next 15 years, such as how can workers and companies from developing economies compete and how can workers’ rights and benefits be maximized? What are the most promising innovations to support skills acquisition and certification, job matching, and talent identification? What policies and investments should governments, corporations, educators, and donors prioritize to prepare for this future?
Ahead of the roundtable, Brookings commissioned six essays to set the scene for the discussion. These essays present some of the most current analysis on the future of work in the developing world. We are therefore making them publicly available to stimulate wider discussion. The six essays and their authors are:
- Do labor-saving technologies spell the death of jobs in the developing world?, by Carl Benedikt Frey, Oxford Martin Citi Fellow and co-director of the Oxford Martin Program on Technology and Employment at the University of Oxford, and Ebrahim Rahbari, director of global economics at Citigroup.
- The skills that matter in the race between education and technology, by Harry Patrinos, education practice manager at the World Bank.
- Realizing the potential of digital job-seeking platforms, by Cecilia Chen, consultant at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, and Marcus Haymon, project manager at Dalberg Global Development Advisors.
- Why are worker benefits and protections so limited in developing economies?, by Louise Fox, visiting professor of development practice at the University of California, Berkeley.
- Can outsourcing boost employment for low-skilled workers?, by Eric Simonson, managing partner of research at the Everest Group.
- What interventions create jobs? A review of the evidence by Michael Grimm, professor of development economics at the University of Passau.
Read the essays and follow the conversation around this year’s roundtable on Twitter, using the hashtag #Blum2016.