Category Archives: New Book

Oded Galor: The Journey of Humanity. Interview with the Author.

New book published in 30 languages. It studies the driving forces and long-run perspectives of the journey of mankind. We discuss major points with the author in an interview (see below).

  • Oded Galor : The Journey of Humanity. The Origins of Wealth and Inequality, 2022.
  • More information: AmazonPenguin Random House

Oded Galor is

  • Herbert H. Goldberger Professor of Economics at Brown University
  • the founding thinker behind Unified Growth Theory, which seeks to uncover the fundamental causes of development, prosperity and inequality over the entire span of human history. 
  • Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Economic Growth and an Editor of the Journal of Population Economics.


GLO: What brought you to focus your research on long-term roots of the history of mankind?

Oded Galor: I was born and raised in Jerusalem, and perhaps not surprisingly given the inescapable historical context of daily life in the city, I have developed a great affinity to the understanding of the roots of human behavior and the historical origins of religiosity, ethnicity, diversity, and the lasting impact of historical factors on human prosperity.

During my academic career, I was intrigued by the origins of inequality in the wealth of nations,  and this curiosity gravitated me over time towards the field of Economic Growth.  But, in contrast to the dominating trends in the late 1980s and early 1990s, my research in the field of economic growth was quite different. Rather than focusing on the notion of convergence, which is predicated naturally on the presumption that initial conditions do not matter in the long run, my research has focused on the understanding of the roots of inequality across nations and the role of initial conditions in the determination of the fate of nations.

My quest for the understanding of the vast inequality in the wealth of nations led ultimately to my creation of Unified Growth Theory.  The development of this theory was fueled by the conviction and the evidence that a comprehensive understanding of global inequality would not be feasible in the absence of a theory that would reflect the principal driving forces behind the entire process of development and capture the central role that historical and pre-historical factors have played in bringing about the current disparities in living standards.

Along this process, I developed a great passion to the mathematical fields of dynamical systems and bifurcation theory, which underlines the importance of initial conditions in the determination of long-run position of complex systems. These important mathematical tools have enabled me to develop the Unified Growth Theory and to resolve some of the most fundamental mysteries in the development process.

GLO: What story reveals your recent book, ‘The Journey of Humanity’?

Oded Galor: The book explores the evolution of human societies since the emergence of Homo sapiens in Africa nearly 300,000 years ago. It resolves  two of the most fundamental mysteries that surround this journey:

  • The mystery of growth – what are the roots of the dramatic transformation in living standards in the past 200 years, after 300,000 years of near stagnation. Why, in the past 200 years, has income per capital in the world increased 14-fold and life expectancy more than doubled, after 300,000 years of minuscule progress in these dimensions?
  • The mystery is inequality – what is the origin of the vast inequality in living standards across countries and regions and why has this inequality increased so dramatically in the past 200 years?

The book advances a revolutionary perspective about the origins of wealth and global inequality. It suggests that much of the inequality in the wealth of nations can be traced to historical and pre-historical forces that operated hundreds of years ago, thousands of years ago, and even tens of thousands of years ago.

GLO: The Malthusian poverty trap: How did we got out of this according to your ‘Unified Growth Theory‘?

Oded Galor: Ever since the emergence of Homo sapiens and development of the first stone-cutting tool, technological progress fostered the growth and the adaptation of the human population to its changing environment. In turn, growth and the adaptation of the population widened the pool of inventors and expanded the demand for innovations, further stimulating the creation and adoption of new technologies. Nevertheless, over most of human existence, one central aspect of the human condition remained largely unaffected: living standards. Innovations stimulated economic prosperity for a few generations, but ultimately, population growth brought living conditions back towards subsistence levels.

For millennia, the wheels of change – the reinforcing interplay between technological progress and the size and composition of the human population – turned at an ever-increasing pace until, eventually, a tipping point was reached, unleashing the rapid technological progress of the Industrial Revolution. The increasing demand for skilled and educated workers who could navigate this rapidly changing technological environment incentivized parents to invest in the education of their children and therefore to bear fewer of them.  Fertility rates started to decline and living standards improved without being swiftly counterbalanced by population growth, and thus began a long-term rise in human prosperity that the world has experienced in the past two centuries.

GLO: You conclude that instead of the predicted communist revolution, industrialization lead to mass education. Why was Marx wrong?

Oded Galor: Marx maintained that the intensifying competition among capitalists would result in a reduction in their profits, inducing them to deepen the exploitation of workers. He argued that class struggle would therefore be inevitable since society would necessarily reach the point where the ‘proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains’.

Nevertheless, contrary to Marx’s hypothesis, the transformation of the production process in the course of the Industrial Revolution made education a critical element in boosting industrial productivity and maintaining profit rates. Education and the skills of the workforce became increasingly more important to the capitalist class, as they came to realize that education held the key to preventing a decline in their profit margins. They have therefore lobbied forcefully for the provision of public education for the masses. Hence, instead of a communist revolution, industrialization triggered a revolution in mass education.

GLO: Why has the industrialization over the last two centuries brought amazing growth but also huge global inequality?  

Oded Galor: Intriguingly, when prosperity skyrocketed in recent centuries, it did so earlier in some parts of the world, triggering a second major transformation: the emergence of immense inequality across societies. Institutional, cultural, geographical and societal characteristics that emerged in the ancient past propelled societies on their distinct historical trajectories, influenced the timing of their escape from the epoch of stagnation, and contributed to the gap in the wealth of nations.

GLO: Why is global inequality so persistent and received strategies like the ‘Washington Consensus‘ with a set of universal structural reforms in your view a fundamental misconception?

Oded Galor: Privatization of industry, trade liberalization and secure property rights might be growth-conducive policies for countries that have already developed the social, cultural and educational prerequisites for economic growth, but in environments where these foundations are absent, where social cohesion is tenuous and corruption well entrenched, such universal reforms have often been fruitless.

Institutional, cultural, geographical and societal characteristics that emerged in the distant past have propelled civilizations through their distinct historical routes and fostered the divergence in the wealth of nations. Incontestably, cultures and institutions conducive to economic prosperity can be gradually adopted and formed. Barriers erected by aspects of geography can be mitigated. But any such interventions that ignore the particular characteristics that have emerged over the course of each country’s journey are unlikely to reduce inequality and may instead provoke frustration, turmoil and prolong stagnation.

GLO: Where does your interest and concern about inequality come from? How does inequality in the distribution of wealth affect growth?

Oded Galor: My long-term interest and concern about inequality has been based on my personal moral conviction as well as the understanding of potential adverse effect of inequality on economic prosperity. Wealth inequality is associated with inefficient education and investment decisions of the poorer segments of society. It has therefore an adverse effect on the allocation of talents across occupations and it reduces economic efficiency. In addition, it adversely affects social cohesiveness and is associated with civil unrest and therefore loss in productivity. Thus, despite the importance of wage inequality in generating the proper economic incentives, it is quite apparent that excessive wealth inequality adversely affects ‘equality of opportunity’ in society and is therefore both unjust and harmful for economic efficiency and social cohesiveness.

GLO: How do you differentiate your contribution from the bestselling work of Yuval Noah Harari (‘Sapiens. A Brief History of Humankind’)?

Oded Galor: The Journey of Humanity consists of two major parts. The first part examines the progression of humanity, as a whole, since the emergence of Homo sapiens in Africa nearly 300,000 ago. The scope of this part has some parallels to “Sapiens”, but it is fundamentally different conceptually and scientifically. It is based on Unified Growth Theory, which identifies the wheels of change that have governed the journey of humanity over the entire course of human history. Each of the building blocks of this theory is evidence-based, founded on rigorous empirical analysis. In contrast, many of the critical transitions in “Sapiens” are largely speculative, and as the results of UGT reveal, its basic premise— that humanity progressed gradually since the agricultural revolution— is counter-factual. Moreover, The Journey of Humanity highlights the demographic forces that are central for the understanding of the Malthusian trap, as they have characterized 99.9% of human history and ultimately the take-off from stagnation to growth. This factor, however, is absent in “Sapiens”.

The second part of the Journey of Humanity explores the origins of inequality across countries. It highlights the role of institution, culture, geography, and human diversity in the divergence in the wealth of nations in the past 200 years. It leads into important policy implications about the vital role of gender equality, tolerance, and diversity in the future prosperity of humanity and the importance of the history of each individual country in the design of policies that could mitigate inequality across nations. This important analysis about the roots of inequality between nations is also absent from “Sapiens”.

As the author of “Origins”, Lewis Dartnell  wrote: “if you like Sapiens you will love [The Journey of Humanity].

GLO: Your book feeds the hope for a long-term rise in humanity, of increased wealth, understanding and collaboration.

  • On p. 9 you write: “…. the outlook derived from this exploration can be described as fundamentally hopeful, in terms of the overarching trajectory of societies across the globe. ….education, tolerance and greater gender equality hold the keys to our species’ flourishing in the decades and centuries to come. ”
  • And after discussing major global catastrophes over the last century, you write on pp. 242-243: “But history shows that, shattering and dreadful as they are, these events have had limited long-term impact on the grand arc of human development. The relentless march of humanity has so far been unstoppable.”

How does this fit with the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, which appears to many, like a game-changer of history?

Oded Galor: In fact the current crisis has reinforced my confidence about the relentless march of humanity. It is quite apparent that the Russian invasion to Ukraine has clarified to individuals across the globe that their liberties are at risk, and unless the forces that cherish freedom would unify, totalitarian regime may prevail and derail humanity from its promising march. And indeed, we have witnessed unprecedented unity within the European continent and even between the deeply polarized US society. As was the case in the course of human history, therefore this dreadful event is very unlikely to affect the grand arc of human development, and humanity may emerge from this crisis stronger than otherwise, as totalitarian regimes will recede further.


Oded Galor was interviewed by  Klaus F. ZimmermannGLO President.


Interview with Ambassador Alfredo Toro Hardy on his new book on “America’s Two Cold Wars”.

New book published. It investigates the global challenges for the United States and the upcoming competition with China.

  • Alfredo Toro Hardy: America’s Two Cold Wars: From Hegemony to Decline? Palgrave Macmillan, 2022. More information: SpringerAmazon

Below: GLO interview with the author!

  • Without a single shot being fired, the United States had won the Cold War. This led to the homogenization of the world under America’s liberal order. Its global hegemony, though, proved to be brief. A country that arrived from the blue, China, is now contesting the U.S. primacy.
  • China has been the driving force of a whole array of multilateral cooperative initiatives that have kept a lid on its nationalistic excesses and enhanced its global convergence appeal.
  • China’s GDP is in the process of surpassing that of the United States. It has already developed the capability to technologically offset America’s superior forces through disruptive asymmetric weapons.
  • During its first Cold War the U.S. had the wind on its back. All the right configuration of elements supported it. In this emerging Cold War with China the opposite happens as the U.S. confronts the wrong configuration of factors. With such inauspicious outlook Washington should explore other alternatives to Cold War.

ALFREDO TORO HARDY is a Venezuelan retired diplomat, scholar and author.

  • He has a PhD on International Relations by the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Affairs, two master degrees on international law and international economics by the University of Pennsylvania and the Central University of Venezuela, a post-graduate diploma in diplomatic studies by the Ecole Nationale D’Administration (ENA) and a Bachelor of Law degree by the Central University of Venezuela.
  • Before resigning from the Venezuelan Foreign Service in protest for events taking place in his country, he was one of its most senior career diplomats. As such, he served as Ambassador to the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, Singapore, Chile and Ireland. He directed the Diplomatic Academy of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as other Venezuelan academic institutions in the field of international affairs.
  • He is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations and has been a Visiting Professor at the universities of Princeton and Brasilia and an on-line Professor at the University of Barcelona. He has also been a Fulbright Scholar, a two-time Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Resident Scholar and an academic advisor on diplomatic studies to the University of Westminster.
  • He has authored twenty-one books and co-authored fifteen more on international affairs and history, while publishing thirty peer reviewed papers on the same subjects. His latest book America’s Two Cold Wars: From Hegemony to Decline? was published by Palgrave Macmillan in March 2022.


GLO: In your book you argue that the United States won the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and is now at the outset of a new Cold War with China. Is this not an illusion in the face of the invasion of Ukraine, where we are confronted again in a radical way with a split of the world between democratic and autocratic regimes with Russia as a particularly aggressive opponent? This new war seems to be hot, not cold.

Alfredo Toro Hardy: The idea of an ideological split of the world between democratic and autocratic regimes, with the U.S. towering again a “free world” notion, is controversial. Notwithstanding that Russia’s invasion to Ukraine has provided a temporary support to Biden’s democracy versus autocracy proposal, the fact remains that America’s liberal order has been invaded by the cancer of populism and its functioning and basic norms are under threat. In three years’ time Washington could be inaugurating a fresh Trump administration.

Conversely, at least in the case of China there is no interest whatsoever in promoting or weighing an ideological contest on behalf of authoritarianism. First, since Deng Xiaoping days’ results are all that matter. A straightforward social contract exists between the Chinese Communist Party and the people: We’ll make you better off and you will follow our orders. Efficacy becomes the magic word. Second, the authoritarian nature of the Chinese regime is not tantamount to ideology but to culture. A political culture that dates back to 221 BC with the establishing of the Qin dynasty and that presents the CCP regime as part of a continuum within China’s long dynastic history. This duality efficacy-culture is not prone to ideological disquisitions.

As for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine other elements are also in line: Its historical obsession with borders, imperial nostalgia, Ivan Ilyn’s fashionable ideas on Russia’s exceptionalism and the need of spiritual renewal. And so on.

In sum, the ideologically oriented dichotomy democracy versus autocracy fails to capture the complexities involved within the great powers competition.

GLO: While Russia may live on its natural resources and the military, China badly depends on trade and technology. China seeks world domination beyond military strength and needs the collaboration of the Western World. Will globalization return or will we see a bipolar world again?

Alfredo Toro Hardy:  China has indeed become the main promoter and defender of globalization. However, trends are moving in the opposite direction. This requires some explanation. Globalization emerged as a result of political intention and technological feasibility. Now, it finds itself seriously challenged for the same reasons. In both cases, political intention and technological feasibility are clearly identified with Western economies.

Globalization, as its promoters assumed, would mainly benefit the Western world as fast moving nations appeared to be the better prepared to take advantage from a rapidly moving global economy. Based on this assumption, Western nations and the economic multilateral institutions under their control, gave the necessary steps to make globalization a reality. Political intention was reinforced by technological feasibility. One centered in the so called supply chains and global chains of value, which allowed for the offshoring of countless manufacturing and service jobs within an integrated world economy.

However, political intention has been reversing course. The massive contraction of traditional employments and the dramatic shrinking of middle classes within Western economies, ignited this change. A wave of protectionism and economic nationalism has kept globalization under siege. On its side, a technological feasibility centered in the Fourth Industrial Revolution makes possible the onshoring of economic activities to the Western world. Why, indeed, go manufacturing or looking for service providers afar, when technology allows for cheap options at home?

Onshoring which identifies with producing home or near shoring which identifies with regionalism, have been gathering strength. Covid 19 has provided an important push in the same direction, as the disruption of supply chains that it unleashed generated inflation. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is providing an even more significant push. Not only by disrupting the energy and food supply chains, which in themselves are immensely important, but because it implies a return to the age of geopolitical uncertainty. Henceforward, economic security would advise producing home or close to home.

China would be certainly affected by the crisis of globalization.

GLO: Many observers think that the core of the US-Chinese competition will be the race to achieve the most advanced technological breakthroughs. Will the United States be able to keep its leading position?

Alfredo Toro Hardy: Until not long ago China’s technological advances depended on its “picking from the low-hanging trees”. Nowadays, China is an extremely efficient indigenous innovator in direct competition with the United States in several key technological areas. Although not yet prepared to displace America’s technological superiority overall, the technologies in which they are forcefully competing have a tremendous multiplier effect.

Their competition is contingent on the efficiency of two very different development models – the State guided and funded one, and the market oriented one. Curiously enough, the Chinese have become the best pupils in following the textbook of America’s innovation success story in the decades that followed World War II, when the Federal Government played a pivotal role. Nowadays, however, the former teachers completely adhere to the market forces. The Chinese route map in science, technology and innovation looks more coherent and holistic than the one currently been followed by the United States.

GLO: How should the Western world deal with the forthcoming Chinese conflict with Taiwan? What lessons do we lean from the current war in Europe?

Alfredo Toro Hardy: To begin with, the newfound strength of the European Alliance, which under Trump seemed to have been brain dead according to Macron’s definition, has yet to prove itself. Would it survive a long conflict in Ukraine? Would it survive beyond the European continent? Would it survive a plausible Trump return to the White House? Hence, better circumscribe ourselves to the United States when referring to a Western approach in the “forthcoming” Chinese conflict with Taiwan.

The case of Taiwan is particularly forbidding in relation to an American containment policy of the Popular Republic of China. This, for three reasons. First, the distances involved. Distance from California to Taiwan is 7,000 miles and from Hawaii close to 5,300 miles. Conversely, distance between mainland China and Taiwan is only 90 miles. John Mearsheimer’s notion of the stopping power of water fully applies here. Second, the asymmetric interests involved. For Beijing reuniting Taiwan with the mainland represents a historical restitution not a territorial expansion. Meaning, it sees Taiwan as an integral part of the country’s territory and has immanent incentives in seeking reunification. For the U.S., on the contrary, only reputational interests are involved. What it’s at stake for both lies at completely different levels. Third, the principles involved. Since the 1972 joint communique between Washington and Beijing, the former has never contested the One China policy. A good example of this was Clinton’s “three no’s” policy – the U.S. doesn’t support independence for Taiwan, nor does it support “two Chinas”, nor does believe that Taiwan should have membership in any organization for which statehood is required. Under those bases how to go to war with Beijing in support of Taipei?


Alfredo Toro Hardy was interviewed by  Klaus F. ZimmermannGLO President.


VIDEO of the online event on 21 March 2022: Oded Galor on his new book: “The Journey of Humanity: The Origins of Wealth and Inequality”. Book released on March 22 in the USA, on April 7 in the UK and on April 13 in Germany.

Oded Galor (Brown University) spoke on March 21, 2022 (4.00 pm to 5.30 pm CET Berlin time) in a public world-wide online event on

The Journey of Humanity:
The Origins of Wealth and Inequality


The event was jointly organized by Global Labor Organization (GLO), the Journal of Population Economics (JOPE) and POP @ UNU-MERIT and chaired by Klaus F. Zimmermann (President of GLO, Editor-in-Chief of JOPE, and Co-Director of POP). About 200 people had registered to attend.

What Twitter says!  

The Journey of Humanity by Oded Galor

Oded Galor spoke about his new book just published with Penguin Random House in thirty languages worldwide. It is released on March 22 in the USA and on April 7 in the UK and on April 13 in Germany.

Further details on the book (see also below) and how it can be purchased: USA-LINK —– UK-LINK …… Germany-LINK

He is Herbert H. Goldberger Professor of Economics at Brown University and the founding thinker behind Unified Growth Theory, which seeks to uncover the fundamental causes of development, prosperity and inequality over the entire span of human history. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Economic Growth and an Editor of the Journal of Population Economics.

About the book

In a captivating journey from the dawn of human existence to the present, world-renowned economist and thinker Oded Galor offers an intriguing solution to two of humanity’s great mysteries.

Why are humans the only species to have escaped – only very recently – the subsistence trap, allowing us to enjoy a standard of living that vastly exceeds all others? And why have we progressed so unequally around the world, resulting in the great disparities between nations that exist today? Immense in scope and packed with astounding connections, Galor’s gripping narrative explains how technology, population size, and adaptation led to a stunning “phase change” in the human story a mere two hundred years ago. But by tracing that same journey back in time and peeling away the layers of influence – colonialism, political institutions, societal structure, culture – he arrives also at an explanation of inequality’s ultimate causes: those ancestral populations that enjoyed fruitful geographical characteristics and rich diversity were set on the path to prosperity, while those that lacked it were disadvantaged in ways still echoed today.

As we face ecological crisis across the globe, The Journey of Humanity is a book of urgent truths and enduring relevance, with lessons that are both hopeful and profound: gender equality, investment in education, and balancing diversity with social cohesion are the keys not only to our species’ thriving, but to its survival.

From the event

From the opening remarks of Klaus F. Zimmermann

Oded is the Herbert Goldberger Professor of Economics at Brown University and one of the profoundest economic thinkers of the world. He has published his research in the best academic outlets of the profession. His contributions focus for long around the fundamental causes of development, prosperity and inequality over the entire span of human history. As the driving force behind what he calls “Unified Growth Theory” and the role of genetic diversity for development he seeks to uncover the fundamental causes of the path of human wellbeing across time and space.

Oded Galor was awarded Doctorates Honoris Causa from UCLouvain and from Poznań University of Economics & Business. He is an elected Foreign Member of Academia Europaea and an Elected Fellow of the Econometric Society. He is affiliated with many distinguished academic networks like NBER, CEPR, GLO, IZA, among others. Furthermore, he is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Economic Growth, Editor of the Journal of Population Economics, and Co-Editor of Macroeconomic Dynamics. He has served the profession in many unique ways.

His new book “The Journey of Humanity: The Origins of Wealth and Inequality” comes at the time of a dramatic setback in economic history, as for a few weeks now the aggressive war against the Ukraine reveals. Europe experiences some of the darkest days on the continent since WWII with unpredictable ending.

The book could not foresee this development. But it nevertheless feeds the hope for a long-term rise in humanity, of increased wealth, understanding and collaboration.

  • As Oded Galor writes at the beginning of his global review of history (p. 9): “…. the outlook derived from this exploration can be described as fundamentally hopeful, in terms of the overarching trajectory of societies across the globe. …. education, tolerance and greater gender equality hold the keys to our species’ flourishing in the decades and centuries to come. ”
  • And after discussing major global catastrophes over the last century, he writes towards the end (pp. 240-241): “But history shows that, shattering and dreadful as they are, these events have had limited long-term impact on the grand arc of human development. The relentless march of humanity has so far been unstoppable.”

The book helps us to see the mechanisms and common institutions we need to invest and struggle for to foster human development and to overpower disaster.


36th EBES Conference, Istanbul/Turkey, July 1-3, 2021. Highlight from day 2: GLO Handbook Session on “Worker Representation, Labor-Management Relations and Labor Standards” chaired by GLO Fellow Uwe Jirjahn. VIDEO available!

The 36th EBES Conference in Istanbul took place July 1-3, 2021 in Hybrid Mode. A highlight of the second day was the GLO Handbook Session on “Worker Representation, Labor-Management Relations and Labor Standards” chaired by GLO Fellow Uwe Jirjahn. GLO and EBES are collaborating organizations.

EBES Website Conference Page Conference Program

Uwe Jirjahn

The conference included a GLO Handbook Session on “Worker Representation, Labor-Management Relations and Labor Standards” organized and chaired by Uwe Jirjahn (University of Trier and GLO), who is a Section Editor of the Handbook. The event took place on July 2, 3.50-5.50 pm, Istanbul time.


GLO Handbook Session: Worker Representation, Labor-Management Relations and Labor Standards

“Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics” edited by Klaus F. Zimmermann.

July 2, 2021. 3.50-5.50 pm local time Istanbul

Uwe Jirjahn

Chair: Uwe Jirjahn (University of Trier and GLO)

  • Decent Work and the Quality of Work and Employment
    Francis Green (University College London and GLO)
  • Union Membership and Collective Bargaining: Trends and Determinants
    Claus Schnabel (Universität Erlangen Nürnberg)
  • Unions, Worker Participation and Worker Well-Being
    Benjamin Artz (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and GLO) and John S. Heywood (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and GLO)
  • Worker Voice and Political Participation in Civil Society
    John Budd (University of Minnesota and GLO) and Ryan Lamare (University of Illinois and GLO)
  • Works Councils
    Jens Mohrenweiser (Bournemouth University)
  • Board-Level Worker Representation
    Aleksandra Gregoric (Copenhagen Business School)

Section “Technological Changes and the Labor Market” of the Handbook in “Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics” now available online.

The Handbook in “Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics” provides an integrated picture of knowledge about the economic and social behaviors and interactions of human beings on markets, in households, in companies and in societies. A fast evolving project by the GLO with a core basis in labor economics, human resources, demography and econometrics, it will provide a large and complete summary and evaluation of the scientific state of the art. Chapters are developed under the guidance of an engaged team of editors led by the GLO President administered in 30 sections.

See LINK for more details

  • to examine the already available chapters, and
  • to find out how to contribute to this exciting venture with an own chapter.

The Section “Technological Changes and the Labor Market” is directed by Marco Vivarelli, who is also the GLO Cluster Lead of the “Technological Change” area. The Section is just completing its set of 20 published papers now available for use, review and debate. List of the articles and links to access them are below.

The Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics
Editor: Klaus F. Zimmermann

Section – Technological Changes and the Labor Market
Marco Vivarelli, Section Editor
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Department of Economic Policy, Milan, Italy

Marco Vivarelli

Note: Find abstract links of the articles below the chapter titles.

Testing the Employment and Skill Impact of New Technologies
Laura Barbieri, Chiari Mussida, Mariacristina Piva, Marco Vivarelli
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Innovation, technology adoption and employment: Evidence synthesis
Mehmet Ugur
University of Greenwich Business School

Technology and Work: Key Stylized Facts for the Digital Age
Mario Pianta
Scuola Normale Superiore

The Digital Transformation and Labor Demand
Flavio Calvino, Vincenzo Spiezia
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Digitization and the Future of Work: Macroeconomic Consequences
Melanie Arntz1,2, Terry Gregory3,1, Ulrich Zierahn5,1,4
1 Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, 2University of Heidelberg, 3Institute of Labor Economics, IZA,4CESifo Research Network, 5Utrecht University


AI and Robotics Innovation
Vincent Van Roy, Daniel Vertesy, Giacomo Damioli
European Commission

Robots at Work: Automatable and Non-automatable Jobs
Cecily Josten, Grace Lordan
London School of Economics

Innovation, Employment, and the Business Cycle
Bernhard Dachs1, Martin Hud2, Bettina Peters2,3
1AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, 2Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, 3University of Luxembourg

Technological Innovations and Labor Demand Using Linked Firm-Level Data
Martin Falk1, Eva Hagsten2
1USN School of Business, 2University of Iceland

Why do employees participate in innovations? Skills and organisational design issues and the ongoing technological transformation, in production
Nathalie Greenan, Silvia Napolitano
Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers

Note: Report and video of this presentation in the GLO Virtual Seminar.

Technologies and “Routinization”
Federico Biagi1, Raquel Sebastian2
1European Commission, 2Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Skill-Sets for Prospective Careers of Highly Qualified Labor
Natalia Shmatko, Leonid Gokhberg, Dirk Meissner
National Research University Higher School of Economics,Moscow

Quantity and Quality of Work in the Platform Economy
Francesco Bogliacino1, Cristiano Codagnone2,3, Valeria Cirillo4, Dario Guarascio5
1Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2Università degli Studi di Milano, 3Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 4INAPP, National Institute for the Analysis of Public Policies, 5Università degli Studi di Roma

Digital Platforms and the Transformations in the Division of Labor
Ivana Pais
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Innovation and Self-Employment
Tommaso Ciarli, Matthia Di Ubaldo, Maria Savona
University of Sussex


The Present, Past, and Future of Labor-saving Technologies
Jacopo Staccioli, Maria Enrica Virgillito
1Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 2Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Robots, Structural Change, and Employment: Future Scenarios
Ben Vermeulen1, Andreas Pyka1, Pier Paolo Saviotti2
1University of Hohenheim, 2Utrecht University

The Role of Innovation in Structural Change, Economic Development, and the Labor Market
Önder Nomaler, Bart Verspagen
UNU-MERIT, Maastricht

Integration in Global Value Chains and Employment
Filippo Bontadini1, Rinaldo Evangelista2, Valentina Meliciani3, Maria Savona1
1University of Sussex, 2University of Camerino, 3University Luiss Guido Carli

Employment Impact of Technologies in the Developing World
Arup Mitra1, Chandan Sharma2
1South Asian University, 1Indian Institute of Management Lucknow


Featured image of this post is by Alex-Knight-on-Unsplash


Big insights from small things? Sudipta Sarangi talks about his new book ‘The Economics of Small Things’ with GLO President Klaus F. Zimmermann.

You want to enjoy economics and learn crispy lessons about everyday challenges, and how to deal with them? Then try this new book by GLO Fellow Sudipta Sarangi:

By “using a range of everyday objects and common experiences like bringing about lasting societal change through Facebook to historically momentous episodes like the shutting down of telegram services in India offers crisp, easy-to-understand lessons in economics. The book studies the development of familiar cultural practices from India and around the world and links the regular to the esoteric and explains everything from Game Theory to the Cobra Effect without depending on graphs or equations-a modern-day miracle! Through disarmingly simple prose, the book demystifies economic theories, offers delightful insights, and provides nuance without jargon.”

New book!
Sudipta Sarangi, The Economics of Small Things
2020, India Penguin, 296 pages. ISBN: 9780143450375.

Some core messages of the interview below:

  • The ultimate goal of any theorist is to explain phenomena around us.
  • Economic theory is all around us, and simple everyday actions can be explained using the lens of economics.
  • Takeaways of the book are: incentives matter, heterogeneity matters, complementarities matter, information matters, cognitive costs matter, and strategic behavior matters.
  • Even grandmas in India are obsessed with cricket!
  • The anecdotes used are true and about actual people and their lives.
  • Being closeted at home due to the pandemic has created curiosities that may not have happened otherwise.

GLO Fellow Sudipta Sarangi is a Professor and Department Head at Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). He has received the 2020 Kuznets Prize of the Journal of Population Economics.


GLO:  Neither formulas nor figures: What drives a theorist to be so ‘practical’?

Sudipta Sarangi: This is an astute observation. While it is true that theorists are often considered to inhabit the realms of the esoteric, the ultimate goal of any theorist is to explain phenomena around us. For example, my very first paper was motivated by a real-life observation: Why does the late fee exceed the rental price (or opportunity cost) of an object? That combined with my love for teaching is what resulted in this plain-English book!

GLO: What is the core message you want to convey with your book?

Sudipta Sarangi: Sometimes when I talk about the book, I liken it to Rene Magritte’s painting: The Son of Man. Everything we see around us hides things, and we human being always want to see what is hidden by what we see. I feel that economic theory is all around us, and simple everyday actions can be explained using the lens of economics. So, as in Magritte’s painting, I want to draw attention to the apple covering the face and show people what lies behind the apple – get a closer look at those eyes peeping at us. I believe that this will not only create a curiosity about economics but also provide people better insights about their own behavior and those of the others.

GLO:  What are the major insights the various sections of your book provide?

Sudipta Sarangi: Honestly speaking, I did not want to list insights in the book because I felt it would be too pedantic. I just wanted people to enjoy reading a book about economics. However, my wife and a philosopher friend insisted that I needed a set of takeaways. Now these are forces to reckon with! So, I finally gave in and suggested six takeaways: incentives matter, heterogeneity matters, complementarities matter, information matters, cognitive costs matter, and strategic behavior matters. Of course, you will have to read the book to find out how specifically they matter and what might be the caveats.

GLO: Your book can be placed in the Freakonomics tradition with an Indian touch: What makes it attractive for a typical European or American reader?

Sudipta Sarangi: Another insightful question! It is true that in some ways I wanted a book that an Indian reader would enjoy, and there are possibly a couple of chapters that will strongly appeal mostly to Indian readers – like the one on cricket for instance. Even grandmas in India are obsessed with cricket! I think the appeal is universal because the book tries to explain everyday phenomena. For instance – why does no one take that last slice of pizza at the office party? Why do we always offer the first piece of cake to the guests when evolution suggests that you just take it yourself? There is a story of shoe thieves operating in Sweden and Denmark stealing left and right shoes separately in the two different countries. This is used to drive home the importance of complementarities and explore Michael Kremer’s O-Ring theory.

GLO: What economists find insightful or funny is often not shared by non-economists. How do you break this resistance?

Sudipta Sarangi: This is so true – I chuckled to myself as I read this question. I think the most important element is the fact that many of the anecdotes are true and about actual people and their lives. So, the humor is not made up by me. Of course, it takes more than the crowd sourced stories and pop culture references – lots of rewriting, my wonderful editors and the many people from whom I have learnt to write and learnt about economics. The spectrum ranges from my first-grade teacher Mrs. Meera Pradhan to my PhD supervisors Hans Haller and Rob Gilles.

GLO: Is your success with the book related to a weakening of populism caused by the pandemic which demonstrates the importance of science?

Sudipta Sarangi: That is something I would like to believe – although I cannot say that I have a lot of hard evidence in its favor. I feel that being closeted at home due to the pandemic has created curiosities that may not have happened otherwise. I have also observed during several virtual book talks that young people looking for new things to explore are drawn to the book because of its intuitive explanation of economic models. They like the Indian examples, but also enjoy the anecdotes from other parts of the world. That gives me hope for science and the future.

Thank you, Professor Zimmermann, for the insightful questions and this virtual interview. I thoroughly enjoyed answering them. To end with a small quote from the book:

This is a book about the economics of these small things. Over the course of the book, I will delve into the economic concepts behind the events mentioned here and other such phenomena drawn from everyday life. The book invites you to explore these different economic ideas and concepts—and to have fun while doing it. And for those interested in exploring these topics further, there is a detailed reading list at the end.

Happy reading!

With Sudipta Sarangi spoke Klaus F. Zimmermann, GLO President.


Walls and Fences before Covid-19: Article by GLO Fellow Victoria Vernon & Klaus F. Zimmermann now published in “The Economic Geography of Cross-Border Migration”.

The article “Walls and Fences: A Journey Through History and Economics” by GLO Fellow Victoria Vernon and GLO President Klaus F. Zimmermann is now published.

Walls and Fences: A Journey Through History and Economics Download PDF
by Vernon, Victoria & Zimmermann, Klaus F.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 330: 2019

In: Kourtit, K., Newbold, B., Nijkamp, P., Partridge, M. (Eds.), The Economic Geography of Cross-Border Migration, pp. 33-54.

Article Abstract

Throughout history, border walls and fences have been built for defense, to claim land, to signal power, and to control migration. The costs of fortifications are large while the benefits are questionable. The recent trend of building walls and fences signals a paradox: In spite of the anti-immigration rhetoric of policymakers, there is little evidence that walls are effective in reducing terrorism, migration, and smuggling. Economic research suggests large benefits to open border policies in the face of increasing global migration pressures. Less restrictive migration policies should be accompanied by institutional changes aimed at increasing growth, improving security and reducing income inequality in poorer countries.


New book on: Rural-Urban Migration in Vietnam

A new book in the Springer series “Population Economics” offers the first comprehensive study on rural-urban migration in Vietnam and analyzes the challenges for policy making. It uses extensive qualitative and quantitative data to explore the impact of rural-urban migration on migrants and their families. The book provides useful experiences for other developing countries.

Amy Y.C. Liu with Xin Meng, Editors (2019)
Rural-Urban Migration in Vietnam
Population Economics Series, Springer

GLO Fellows Amy Y.C. Liu & Xin Meng

Dr. Amy Y.C. Liu is Honorary Senior Lecturer, Graduate Studies in International and Development Economics, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra. Her key research interests to date have been wage structure, gender inequality and labor outcomes, human capital investment, and poverty. Her work on Vietnam’s transition to a market economy has been published in peer-reviewed international economics journals and was widely recognized by media.

Prof. Xin Meng works at the Research School of Economics, College of Business and Economics, Australian National University. Her main research interests to date have been the themes of China’s labor market, poverty, income inequality, human capital development, the economic implications of rural-urban migration, and the influence of institutions and culture on human behavior and on gender discrimination. Prof. Meng has published papers in numerous leading peer-reviewed international journals.

Abstract: This edited volume is the first publication using a new data set, Rural-Urban Migration in China and Vietnam (VRUMS2013). The questionnaire was particularly designed to collect information on rural-urban migrants and their families in Vietnam and was also linked to the national representative Vietnam Household Living Standards Survey 2012. Using this data and other data sources, this edited volume provides a comprehensive overview of rural-urban migration in Vietnam. It addresses a wide range of important topics, including Vietnam’s household registration system (ho khau), migration trends, remittance behavior and social networking. In addition, it examines migrants’ earnings, their children’s schooling, housing issues and their families’ consumption behavior in the cities they migrated to.

Table of contents


NOT WORKING! GLO Research Director Danny Blanchflower explains why the job market is not as healthy as we think.

GLO Research Director Danny Blanchflower has just published his challenging and much acclaimed new book: “Don’t trust low unemployment numbers as proof that the labor market is doing fine—it isn’t. Not Working is about those who can’t find full-time work at a decent wage—the underemployed—and how their plight is contributing to widespread despair, a worsening drug epidemic, and the unchecked rise of right-wing populism.”

David G. Blanchflower: Not Working. Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone? Princeton University Press, 2019

GLO President Klaus F. Zimmermann: “The book to read this summer. Original, full of evidence based on micro data analysis. Provocative in its conclusions. Entertaining, even if you do not agree. Important to debate for our future.”


GLO Research Director Danny Blanchflower. GLO bio. Personal website.

David G. Blanchflower is the Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College, Professor of Economics at the University of Stirling, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is the coauthor of The Wage Curve. Twitter @D_Blanchflower

A man fishing for solutions


GLO: Many people think that the post-crisis recession is over and employment levels are high again. What is wrong with this observation?

David G. Blanchflower: Working age employment rates, which calculates employment divided by population – have recovered their pre-recession levels in many countries including the UK, Germany, Japan Canada and France.  The main exception is the United States where the employment rate is still below starting levels.  That is also true in Denmark, Greece, Norway and Spain.  The problem with many of the jobs that have been created over the last decade is that they have been low paid and insecure.

GLO: What do you mean by underemployment, how is it measured and why do you think it is so challenging?

David G. Blanchflower: Even though the unemployment rate in many countries has fallen a lot and is below 4% in the UK, the US and Germany, wage growth is still benign.  That seems to be because of underemployment which has replaced unemployment as the main measure of labor market slack in advanced countries.  Underemployment occurs when workers are employed for less hours than they would like at the going wage.  The Governor of the Central bank of Australia Philip Lowe in a speech has recently emphasised the importance of underemployment there.  It is challenging because underemployment remains above pre-recession levels and seems to be used by firms to keep wages down.

GLO: How to avoid the threatening epidemic of unhappiness and self-destruction?

David G. Blanchflower: Now more than a decade since the onset of recession in advanced countries in 2008 wage growth remains benign. In the UK for example real wages are still 5% below starting levels and have grown more slowly than in any recovery in more than 150 years. Insecurity and the lack of decent paying jobs seems to have a major impact and appease central to the rise of right-wing populist movements, including in the US, France, Italy and Brexit in the UK.  Hopelessness, isolation and unhappiness have been on the rise around the world.  In the US the rise in deaths of despair – from drug overdoses, heavy drinking and suicide – is of particular concern.  Putting the pedal to the metal and running advanced at full-employment, – which still seems a long way off – seems an obvious fix. Stimulative fiscal and monetary policy can lower the unemployment rate a lot more without a big pick-up in wage growth or inflation: then the balance of power will swing back to workers for the first time in decades.

With “not working” caps – students


New book on: Formal Labour Market in Urban India. Job search, hiring practices and discrimination

This is a highly insightful book examining the way in which generations old inequalities by caste, ethnicity and religion interact with modern labour markets to reshape the opportunity structures in contemporary India. Its primary strength lies in its careful examination of job search strategies and the processes through which employers choose to interview and hire some candidates while excluding others.

Mamgain, Rajendra P. (2019)
Formal Labour Market in Urban India
Job search, Hiring Practices and Discrimination
New Delhi, India: SAGE Publications.

GLO Fellow: Rajendra P. Mamgain

Rajendra P. Mamgain is Professor of Economics, Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow, India. He is a former Managing Editor of the Indian Journal of Labour Economics and former Director, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, New Delhi.

Table of Content
Foreword by Sukhadeo Thorat
Introduction: Labour Market
Employment and Unemployment Situation in Urban India
City-Level Features of Employment and Unemployment
Job Search Methods and Access to Jobs
Job Mobility in Urban Labour Market
Wage Earnings and Inequality
Hiring Practices in Urban Labour Market
Discrimination and Promoting Inclusive Employment Opportunities


This book is  a comprehensive study on the demand and supply dynamics of urban labour markets in India. It presents an in-depth analysis of job search methods, job postings, access to information, job mobility, access to quality employment and hiring practices by employers. The book covers employed as well as unemployed job seekers belonging to different genders and socio-religious groups. It examines the nature and magnitude of discrimination and related consequences on employment, income and social status of labour. It further explains how social networks and employee referrals are critical in job search and job mobility in urban India, thereby undermining the chances of those equally or more competent for a job. The book offers valuable policy suggestions towards inclusive labour market through informational symmetries, education and skill development, and promoting socially inclusive policies by private enterprises.


New book on Populism: Bridging the Gaps for a Better World.

The interactions between media, populism and migration are studied in a new Oxford University Press book, now also free access online.

Co-edited by GLO Fellow Martin Ruhs. With chapters of GLO Fellows Martin Ruhs, Philip Martin and GLO President Klaus F. Zimmermann:

Ruhs, M., Palme, J. and Tamas, K.,
Bridging the Gaps: Linking Research to Public Debates and Policy-making on Migration and Integration
Oxford University Press, Oxford 2019.

Chapter 5: Ruhs, Martin (2019), Independent Experts and Immigration Policies in the UK: Lessons from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and the Migration Observatory (MigObs), in: Ruhs, M., Palme, J. and Tamas, K., Bridging the Gaps: Linking Research to Public Debates and Policy-making on Migration and Integration, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2019, pp. 69 – 83.

Chapter 8: Zimmermann, Klaus F. (2019), Gaps and Challenges of Migration Policy Advice: The German Experience, in: Ruhs, M., Palme, J. and Tamas, K., Bridging the Gaps: Linking Research to Public Debates and Policy-making on Migration and Integration, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2019, pp. 111 – 126.

Chapter 10: Martin, Philip (2019), Migration Research and Policy in the United States: Between Admissionists and Restrictionists, in: Ruhs, M., Palme, J. and Tamas, K., Bridging the Gaps: Linking Research to Public Debates and Policy-making on Migration and Integration, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2019, pp. 146 – 165.


“What is the use of research in public debates and policy-making on immigration and integration? Why are there such large gaps between migration debates and migration realities, and how can they be reduced?”

“Bridging the Gaps: Linking Research to Public Debates and Policy Making on Migration and Integration provides a unique set of studies written by researchers and policy experts who were significantly involved in linking social science research to public policies.”

“Bridging the Gaps argues that we must go beyond the prevailing focus on the research-policy nexus by considering how the media, public opinion, and other dimensions of public debates can interact with research and policy-processes.”

Oxford University Press — OUP Website

Full Table of Contents:

1.       Introduction: Making Linkages Between Research, Public Debates, and Policies on International Migration and Integration – Martin Ruhs, Kristof Tamas and Joakim Palme

Part I: Linking Research, Public Debates, and Policy-Making

2.       Research, ‘Experts’, and the Politics of Migration – Christina Boswell

3.       Research-Policy Dialogues on Migrant Integration in Europe: The Impact of Politicization – Han Entzinger, Peter Scholten

4.       Informing Realities: Research, Public Opinion, and Media Reports on Migration and Integration – Will Allen, Scott Blinder, Rob McNeil

Part II: National Experiences

5.       Independent Experts and Immigration Policies in the UK: Lessons from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and the Migration Observatory (MigObs) – Martin Ruhs

6.       The Changing Relationships Between Research, Society and Policy in the Netherlands: Reflections on the WRR ‘Maxima Report’ – Monique Kremer

7.       Investigating Immigration and the Sustainability of the Norwegian Welfare State: The Role of Government Commissions – Grete Brochmann

8.       Gaps and Challenges of Migration Policy Advice: The German Experience – Klaus F. Zimmermann

9.       The Politicization of Evidence-Based Policies: The Case of Swedish Committees – Kristof Tamas

10.   Migration Research and Policy in the United States: Between Admissionists and Restrictionists – Philip Martin

Part III: International Experiences

11.   Understanding the Role of Evidence in EU Policy Development: A Case Study of the ‘Migration Crisis’ – Elizabeth Collett

12.   A Knowledge-Base for the EU External Migration Policy: The Case of the CARIM Observatories – Agnieszka Weinar

13.   Metropolis and Post-Truth Politics: ‘Enhancing Policy Through Research’ – Howard Duncan

14.   More Research and Fewer Experts: Global Governance and International Migration – Katy Long

Part IV: Conclusions, Lessons Learnt and the Way Forward

15. Bridging Research, Public Debates, and Policies on Migration and Integration: Lessons Learnt and Ways Forward – Joakim Palme, Martin Ruhs, and Kristof Tamas



In its Winter 2019 issue of “The International Economy”, the Washington DC based magazine of international economic policy, has featured a prominent symposium of views on “Why is Populism on the Rise and What Do the Populists Want?”. Klaus F. Zimmermann contributed to the debate. The link to the full text of the symposium is here. Please find the contribution of Zimmermann also HERE.


New book on: Global Mobility of Highly Skilled People

The book positions itself within the discussion on high-skilled self-initiated expatriation (SIE): Taking cross-disciplinary approaches; connecting to theories about international migration and mobility; and moving away from the restrictive human resource management discipline, where the concept of SIE was developed.

Habti, Driss and Maria Elo (2019) Global Mobility of Highly Skilled People: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Self-initiated Expatriation. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Details and Table of Contents.

Driss Habti is postdoctoral researcher in sociology of migration at the Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland
Maria Elo is doctor of economics and lecturer in international business and marketing at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

GLO Fellow Driss Habti

Summary: This volume examines self-initiated expatriates (SIEs), the category of highly skilled people whose movement from one country to another is by choice. Although they are not forced to relocate due to work, conflict or natural disaster, their migration pattern is every bit as complex. The book challenges previous theoretical approaches that take for granted a more simplistic view of this population, and advances that mobility of SIEs relates to the expatriates themselves, their conditions and the different structures intervening in their career life course. With their visible increase worldwide, this book positions itself as a nexus for this on-going discussion, while linking self-initiated expatriation to the theoretical landscape of international skilled migration and mobility. Major interests that catch attention are transnational practices, work-related experiences and personal life course, including forms of inequalities in their migration experiences. The book identifies forms and drivers of migratory behaviour and provides an argument concerning the broader processes of mobility and integration. As such, this book constitutes a departure point for future research in terms of theoretical underpinnings and empirical rigor on global highly skilled mobility of SIEs. The collection of empirical case studies offers an insightful analysis for policy makers, concerned stakeholders and organizations to better cope with this form of migration.   

3 of the 13 chapters:

Habti, D. and Elo, M. (2019) Rethinking Self-Initiated Expatriation in International Highly Skilled Migration. In Driss Habti and Maria Elo (eds.), Global Mobility of Highly Skilled People: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Self-Initiated Expatriation (1–37). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Habti, D. (2019). Mapping drivers of Arab highly skilled self-initiated expatriation to Finland: Personal-professional life pendulum. In Driss Habti & Maria Elo (Eds.), Global mobility of highly skilled people-Multidisciplinary perspectives on self-initiated expatriation (pp. 107–145). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Elo, M. and Habti, D. (2019) Self-Initiated Expatriation Rebooted: A Puzzling Reality – A Challenge to Migration Research and its Future Direction. In Driss Habti & Maria Elo (Eds.), Global mobility of highly skilled people-Multidisciplinary perspectives on self-initiated expatriation (pp. 293–304). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.


A Second Chance for Europe: German version of the book presented to the public in Berlin on April 5, 2019 by Jo Ritzen

On Friday, 5 April 2019, the Berlin Government Office (Landesvertretung) of the State of North Rhine – Westphalia hosted the launch of the German draft of the book ‘A Second chance for Europe: Economic, Political and Legal Perspectives of the European Union’ was presented by Jo Ritzen.

Jo Ritzen: “Eine zweite Chance für Europa: Wirtschaftliche, politische und rechtliche Perspektiven der Europäischen Union. Königshausen & Neumann, 2019.

The host, Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, Minister of North Rhine – Westphalia in Berlin, introduced the event, and Christoph Schmidt, President of the RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and Head of the German Council of Economic Experts, provided a keynote speech discussing the challenges for Europe and evaluated the solutions outlined in the book. The detailed agenda can be found here.

Author Jo Ritzen, who is a former Dutch Minister of Education, a former Vice-President of the World Bank and the Past-President of Maastricht University, and has been a Professor of Economics before his remarkable career in politics, is currently working as Honorary Professor of Maastricht University and Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO). At the book launch, he was presenting the major contributions of the book, which is based on joint research with a number of GLO Fellows.

In the view of Ritzen, key challenges for Europe are (i) the social market economy, (ii) governance including corruption, (iii) internal and external labor mobility, (iv) the asylum issue, (v) the dept crisis and the Euro, and (vi) the knowledge society. It was common sense among the speakers that more Europe and not less is needed in the future to manage the current and forthcoming challenges.

Also present and contributing his views in a panel discussion after the book presentation were Alexander Kritikos, Research Director of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Professor at the University of Potsdam and GLO Fellow, and GLO President Klaus F. Zimmermann, currently at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest as the George Soros Chair Professor. Zimmermann is also co-author of two chapters in the book.

Support for the policy proposals of Jo Ritzen

Latest news: The next version of the book, Jo Ritzen announced at the meeting, will be in Spanish.

Relaxed after work: Panelists Zimmermann, Ritzen und Kritikos


“Why is Populism on the Rise and What Do the Populists Want?”. Experts debate this in the Winter Issue of “The International Economy” magazine.

“What problems are today’s populists seeking to address? Are followers of populist leaders driven by economic insecurity at a time of rising economic inequality and subpar growth, or by a reaction against progressive values, or both?” The International Economy magazine.

In its Winter 2019 issue of “The International Economy”, the Washington DC based magazine of international economic policy, has featured a prominent symposium of views on “Why is Populism on the Rise and What Do the Populists Want?”. Klaus F. Zimmermann, the President of the Global Labor Organization (GLO), Bonn University Professor and UNU-MERIT/Maastricht affiliated economist, who is currently the George Soros Chair Professor at the School of Public Policy of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, had been asked to contribute to this debate. The link to the full text of the symposium is here. Please find the contribution of Zimmermann also below.

Related to the interactions between media, populism and migration is a new Oxford University book also free access online, to which GLO President Klaus F. Zimmermann has contributed a chapter. See:

Martin Ruhs, Kristof Tamas, & Joakim Palme (Eds.):
Bridging the Gaps. Linking Research to Public Debates and Policy Making on Migration and Integration. Oxford University Press. Published online March 28, 2019.

Chapter 8: Klaus F. Zimmermann: Gaps and Challenges of Migration Policy Advice: The German Experience



Marco Leonardi on the fate of the Italian labor market reforms & his new book

Marco Leonardi, economic advisor to two prime ministers in the Italian government from 2014 to 2018, has just published a new book on his experience in office during the Italian labor market reforms and the threatened future perspectives of those changes:

The hijacked reforms: why there is no coming back from labor and pension reform. Le Riforme Dimezzate, EGEA 2018 (in Italian).

Italy has passed three important reforms in the past four years—of the labor market, of the pension system and the introduction of a universal measure against poverty. All these reforms are already being undone, and yet this book explains, from the perspective of someone who worked within the Prime Minister’s policy unit, why there should not be any coming back from the main changes in the labor market and in the pension system.  

The author – The book – The Interview

The author

Marco Leonardi

Former Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Italian Government and Full Professor of Economics at the University of Milan, Italy. He received his PhD from the London School of Economics and spent visiting periods at MIT, Georgetown and Berkeley. His research interests are in labor economics, inequality and education.

The book

To buy the book

“In this book I describe the birth of labor market reform from within the policy unit of the Prime Minister’s Office. In addition, I discuss two other major reforms undertaken in the past four years: the pension reform and the introduction of a universal measure against poverty. I approach these topics from both the political (how and why certain policy decisions were taken) and the technical perspective. I refer to the many (at times difficult) relations between the government and other administrations, as well as the unions, and the lengthy political and administrative process required to enact a law, from the first parliamentary draft up to the implementation of the software to request the new subsidy online (in the case of the new subsidy for the poor). No law produces real effects until the moment it is “online,” and several steps are required to reach that point. Very often the laws are ineffective because their implementation is flawed, and a policy unit’s job is to drive  the laws through their implementation process.

The most important reform has been the labor market reform (called the “Jobs Act”). This reform is recognized internationally because it was adopted amid the international debate on “flexsecurity” and the increasing protection of the open-ended contract (or single contract).

During the 1990s there was considerable continuity in the employment protection legislation of OECD countries, with one major exception: the deregulation of fixed-term contracts and other non-standard labor relationships. Particularly in Southern Europe, changes in labor market policy consisted mainly of measures aimed at introducing “flexibility at the margin,” that is, making the utilization of non-permanent contracts more loosely regulated while leaving the discipline of permanent employment unchanged. Flexibility at the margin, however, amplified the two-tier nature of labor markets, raising concerns over the risk of labor market “dualism” or “segmentation.” Triggered by these concerns, public opinion and policy-makers have repeatedly stressed the importance of searching for “an appropriate balance between flexibility and security” (the so-called “flexsecurity,” as pointed to by the European Commission in multiple documents).

The Jobs Act marks a stark change with respect to the approach to flexibility at the margin by reducing firing costs for permanent employment and by making them both (a) predictable ex ante and (b) increasing according to the worker’s tenure within the firm. By doing so, the Jobs Act aims at reducing dualism in the labor market, fostering human capital accumulation, increasing job mobility to cope with structural adjustment, and favoring workers’ protection “in the market.”

The most controversial aspect of the reform has certainly been the abolition of the possibility of a worker’s reinstatement (“reintegro”) after illegitimate dismissal for economic motives. This provision is limited to contracts signed after the reform (March 7, 2015) and entails a drastic limitation to the possibility of reinstatement, even in case of disciplinary dismissal. This substantial uniformity of firing costs for both disciplinary and economic cases is necessary to curb the incentive to surreptitiously justify dismissals so that they allow for reinstatement, an outcome that would have certainly increased the number of cases litigated in court. For consistency, the ability to reinstate workers has also been excluded for collective dismissals, as they have in essence an economic motivation. The abolition of the possibility of reinstatement has certainly given birth to a clear-cut reform, a fact that has been welcomed by international investors. Besides the new rules on firing costs, generous employment subsidies were introduced to incentivize the use of open-ended contracts.

Another qualifying aspect of the reform scheme is the introduction of a fast track for the settlement of dismissals (“conciliazione rapida”). The aim is to promote consensual resolution of disputed terminations (as well as other possible disputes). Contrary to other proposals for a “single contract” with increasing firing costs, which would have introduced non-appealable compensation, the reform scheme embraces the fast-track settlement model introduced by the German and French employment protection legislations. The latter, though, are different from the solution adopted in the Italian Jobs Act as they don’t bind the court to award compensation according to a predetermined schedule (which in the Jobs Act amounts to two months for each year of contract tenure, up to a maximum of 24 months).

Unfortunately, this feature of the reform was declared illegitimate after three years, in spring 2018, by the Italian Constitutional Court, and therefore today the reforms are “dimezzate” (or “hijacked”: the title of the book refers to the reversal of many reforms under the new government, of which this case is  among the most serious).

The success of the reform is measured by the reduction of court litigation in cases of dismissal (which was reduced by 80%, but unfortunately began to rise again after the decision of the Constitutional Court), and by the shortening of the amount of time young workers spend in temporary contracts (that is, the average length of the initial part of one’s career regulated by fixed-term contracts) and the resulting share of permanent hiring among total hires. The expected substitution of fixed-term contracts unfortunately has not happened: in 2014, roughly 70% of hiring was through fixed-term contracts, and only 17% open-ended; in 2015 and 2016, the share of open-ended contracts increased considerably, but in 2018, when the generous employment subsidies ended, the share of new hiring in open-ended contracts went back to the 2014 levels.

We made a mistake in allowing the coexistence of a very liberal regime for fixed-term contracts and of the new open-ended contract with increasing protection. Employers are reluctant to hire on open-ended contracts, and if left with the easy outlet of fixed-term contracts, they will not change their preferences. Furthermore, after having established a national system of active labor market policies to favor the reallocation of workers (after 20 years of debate, Italy finally has a national agency and a common measure to manage active labor market policies across 20 regions), we were too slow in the implementation process; as a result, public opinion has become aware of the more liberal regime on firings but not the new policy of support through active labor market policies.

While much of the reform process is now in reversal, when these very incisive labor market reforms were introduced they faced no opposition and Italy enjoyed four continuous years of employment growth (which has now been interrupted under the new government).

Further details of the labor market reforms and my suggestions regarding future action can be found in the interview below. Additional information on some of the other reforms, including pensions, wage bargaining and measures against poverty, can be found in the book, only available currently in Italian.”

The interview

GLO: What were the essential elements of the Italian labor market reforms?

Marco Leonardi: The main policy tools of the Jobs Act (and the main reversals under the new government since June 2018) can be summarized as follows:

First, “Contratto a tutele crescenti,” i.e., the open-ended contract for new hires (from March 7, 2015), which eliminates the possibility of a worker’s reinstatement after illegitimate dismissal for economic motives (the so-called “article 18”)  and embeds increasing monetary compensation in the case of separation. In this respect the Jobs Act marks a stark change with respect to the approach of flexibility at the margin (i.e., the tendency to liberalize the use of fixed-term contracts and leave open-ended contracts untouched by reforms) by reducing firing costs for permanent employment and by making them both predictable ex ante and increasing according to the worker’s tenure within the firm (two months for every month of tenure, starting from a minimum of four months and up to a maximum of 24 months). The Jobs Act is an example of “flexsecurity” in practice: it reduces dualism in the labor market and favors workers’ protection “in the market.”

Recently (in June 2018) the Constitutional Court declared illegitimate the rigid link between tenure and months of compensation in case of illegitimate firing, thus restoring the full discretion of judges in determining  the amount of compensation (this will make firing costs uncertain again and the hiring permanent workers less convenient).

Recently (in June 2018) the Constitutional Court declared illegitimate the rigid link between tenure and months of compensation in case of illegitimate firing, thus restoring the full discretion of judges in determining  the amount of compensation (this will make firing costs uncertain again and the hiring permanent workers less convenient).

Second, restrictions on self-employment arrangements (“,” “,” etc.) used in the past to hire dependent workers while saving on both firing costs and social security contributions. In the three years during which the reforms were applied (2015–2018) we witnessed an increase in dependent employment and a decrease in the number of self-employed workers (from a record share of 25% of total employment): most of them took up a fixed-term contract but some of them transitioned to an open-ended contract, exploiting the very generous tax break for open-ended contracts activated in 2015 and 2016. Under the new government this trend has been reversed by a combination of three factors: the limits set by the new government on fixed-term contracts; the sentence of the Constitutional Court which has rendered dependent permanent employment contracts less convenient; and new tax breaks exclusively for the self-employed, which will soon cause the composition of employment to revert to a large share of self-employed.

Third, the reform of unemployment benefits, which have been extended both in terms of eligibility criteria and maximum coverage length, and the concurrent reduction of the short-time work compensation scheme that subsidizes employers that reduce hours of work during a temporary period of falling demand. The unemployment benefit reform aims to make benefits more generous and long-lasting and to include those with discontinuous or uneven employment histories. The reform of 2015 extended the benefits period to exactly half the number of weeks of contribution, up to 24 months. Employees can activate their individual right to a benefit if they have contributed for at least 13 weeks over the previous four years; this criterion has significantly relaxed the contributions requirement and has increased the number of potential beneficiaries to more than 95% of the employed population. The current government has not touched the benefits reform, but it has gone back to a generous regime of subsidies for firms that reduce hours of work. A generous short-time work scheme with loose rules on contributions risks keeping “zombie” firms alive for too long and keeping workers attached to them with little incentive to search for a new job.

Finally, fourth: Reform of active labor market policies, with the establishment of a national agency to coordinate the work of the regions (which have the competence over active labor market policies) and of a “re-training and placement voucher” (i.e., a voucher for placement services provided by both public and private operators), which introduces a quasi-market approach in active labor market policies. Unfortunately, the reform of active labor market policies never actually took off. The popular referendum, which should have moved the competence from the regions to the central state, failed, and the regions are jealous of their autonomy, with the result that the performance of the services is very patchy across Italy.

GLO: What are your recommendations for effective and successful labor reform policies?

Marco Leonardi:  Use your political capital fast on your priorities, compensate unpopular reforms with popular ones and spend money to make reforms effective.

First, when you win an election, you may want to use your political capital immediately on your priorities before it is depleted. I think that the absence of strikes during the reform of the labor market was due to the “surprise” effect. Unions were prudent and waited to see what a young new leader of the center-left would bring about. If you aim at important issues (such as removing article 18) you may hope the reforms will endure, but you should expect that the next government will at least want to change the names of things in order to get credit for them.

Second, compensate for unpopular reforms with popular ones. We compensated for firing cost reforms with more unemployment benefits and active labor market policies. Unfortunately, we did not do enough on active labor market policies and we got the timing wrong: active labor market policies should have come prior to firing cost reform, because first you offer the carrot and then the stick and because active labor market policies require a long implementation period and the interaction of various actors: public employment services, the regional governments and private employment agencies.

Third, spend money to make reforms effective. We accompanied the abolition of article 18 with two dedicated measures in the 2015 budget law: (a) a three-year tax break for social security contributions, and (b) a corporate tax (IRAP) cut on labor costs applicable only to permanent contracts. This meant creating a cost wedge between permanent and temporary contracts. Conventional wisdom has it that one of the best ways to make the former more appealing is to make it cheaper than the latter. A generous tax break made a difference by incentivizing the use of permanent contracts and encouraged the perception that the reform was working.

GLO: What is your advice for the current phase of anti-reform sentiments?

Marco Leonardi: There could be two reasons why people seem to be adverse to reforms in many countries. The first might be because the reforms did not work or because they did not work for all in the same way. To make reforms work we need to focus on implementation: you may do less, but what you do must affect people’s lives in a simple way. Politicians often forget that somebody must take care of all the details of the implementation. Let’s take the example of a new measure against poverty for which the beneficiaries must fill in a new request module. Somebody must follow all the administrative processes that bring the law into effect, from the first parliamentary draft up to the implementation of the software to request the new subsidy online. No law produces real effects until the moment it is “online,” and there are several steps that must be taken to achieve this, including the involvement of the many administrations that have to do with the measure at various steps. Very often the laws are ineffective because their implementation is flawed, and a policy unit’s job is to watch over the laws until their implementation is complete.

The second issue regards the distribution of benefits. Many reforms are perceived as targeted at a few people rather than at everyone. In our time, when information is available to everybody through many of the same channels (TV and social media), it is important to stress the redistributive characteristics of all policy measures. In our case, the reform of the labor market occurred concurrently with a significant increase in the number of employed people (probably in part due to the reform itself), and yet people perceived the precariousness of the new jobs that had been created rather than their number. We should have highlighted more the redistributive feature of the reform (more people having a chance to find a job) rather than merely the increase in the number of those employed.

GLO: Thank you very much. (Questions by Klaus F. Zimmermann)

Marco Leonardi & Klaus F. Zimmermann


GLO-Interview with Alfredo Toro Hardy about his new book on the Latin American view of the future of globalization

The book: The Crossroads of Globalization. A Latin American View. December 2018, 232 pages: World Scientific. More Info.

The author: Alfredo Toro Hardy. GLO Fellow, Venezuelan Scholar and Diplomat. More Info.

The Interviewer: Klaus F. Zimmermann/GLO President. Hardy and Zimmermann have been both Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Resident Scholars in Fall 2017. Zimmermann has written the Preface in the book: Text.

Alfredo Toro Hardy and Klaus F. Zimmermann enjoying a lovely evening in the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in 2017

GLO: Globalization seems to be under political pressure around the globe. How does it affect Latin America?

Alfredo Toro Hardy: Two powerful forces are measuring their strength by acting upon globalization.  One of them pushes globalization forward, while the other hinders its advance and promotes its demise. At this point in time, it is not clear which of them will end up prevailing.

China’s economic umbrella and Asia’s middle class, whose expansion is estimated to represent 80 percent of the world’s middle class increase up to 2030, remain as the fundamental driving forces of globalization. On the other hand, though, we find populism and the displacement that disruptive technologies bring with them. While populism creates boundaries and discourages free trade, the Fourth Industrial Revolution advances towards a decoupling between developed and developing economies. Under these two very different but converging impulses, globalization is bound to loose ground.

Uncertainty hinders Latin America’s strategic vision. If the future entailed a re-launching of globalization, it would seem obvious that the region should follow along its lines, positioning itself in the best possible terms so as to increase its potential benefits. However, if globalization is entering into a declining phase, Latin America would need to look for options.

Latin America faces, therefore, not only a dramatic uncertainty as a result of forces beyond its control, but also the need to anticipate, to the best of its abilities, unforeseen events to which it will have to act or react upon.

GLO: How can Latin America adapt best in the future?

Alfredo Toro Hardy: As said, Latin America finds itself at the crossroads of the pro and the anti globalization forces. Were the rules of the game to change now, the region would certainly suffer. Uncertainty, however, is an even greater challenge because positioning itself and planning ahead amid conflicting signs, becomes extremely difficult.

Globalization emerged as a result of political intention and technological feasibility. Now, it finds itself seriously challenged for the very same reasons. In both cases, political intention and technological feasibility are clearly identified with developed economies. 

What kind of route map can Latin America follow amid this confusing situation? To begin with, it is necessary to analyze the forces that push for and against globalization, trying to measure their respective strength, convergence capacity, and potential impact. This requires, at the same time, looking into the flaws, weaknesses and contradictions of such forces. With these elements in hand, it might be easier to envisage where the trends are leading to and, by extension, where Latin America might end up standing.

However, there seems to be no alternative to playing in both directions, with the aim of minimizing costs and maximizing opportunities. Within this highly fluid situation, pragmatism, resilience, creativeness, imagination, and the joining together of Latin American forces, will have to guide the region’s actions in the foreseeable future.

GLO: What are the challenges for globalization to become profitable for Latin America?

Alfredo Toro Hardy: The curious equation formed by protectionism, populism, political rage, algorithms, deep learning, robots, 3D printing, nanotechnology, indoor and vertical farming, an emerging post animal food industry, and renewable energy, among other elements, may end up suctioning the oxygen of globalization. It is not only that trade barriers emerge, but that it will make no sense to look for cheaper manufactures, products or services afar, when it would become possible to generate them locally at competitive prices.

A decoupling world economy, like the one that may emerge under such equation, presents no benefit for Latin America. Finding a path under such scenario would become extremely stressful and challenging. However, globalization has not been a rose garden for the region. Much to the contrary, it has imposed upon it the need to reconvert into labor-intensive manufacturing or to go back in time to commodities producing. Both of those options have being far from satisfactory.

A globalization that becomes profitable for Latin America would entail the possibility of overcoming such limitations, while opening a path towards a much more international service oriented economy and a more value added manufacturing. Unfortunately, at this point in time options are narrowing not widening.

The book


GLO Fellow Alfredo Toro Hardy Explains ‘The Crossroads of Globalization’ from a Latin American Perspective.

In his new book just published in December 2018, Alfredo Toro Hardy, Venezuelan Scholar and Diplomat as well as a Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO), explains his views about the perspectives of Latin America at the crossroads of globalization. Currently, globalization seems to be in decline all over the globe. However, if the future would see a revival, it seems plausible that Latin America should continue its current pace of following it. However, if globalization would continue to decline, the region would need to find other options. The book evaluates the risks and outlines the options. MORE DETAILS.

Ambassador Alfredo Toro Hardy
Venezuelan Scholar and GLO Fellow

The Preface to the book has been provided by Klaus F. Zimmermann, who is the President of the GLO. He writes in the book:

“As so often in the history of mankind, the fate of globalization is currently at stake. It looks that, again, the world is at a crossroad between development or contraction. The economic and political polarizations within or between countries, the rise of populism and in the number of instable democracies, the tensions resulting from migration, inequality, robotization and the demands of emerging economies like China, India and (perhaps) Brazil require attention. Protectionism, EU-skepticism, nationalism, racism, and rejections of economic multilateralism and multicultural approaches are more and more important again. Only few critical observers of the world are not concerned about the current strength and the unclear directions of the driving forces behind which are only slowly understood.

            Globalization is much more than the persistent global integration of the flow of goods, capital and labor. It also merges cultures and enforces permanent and immediate exchange of knowledge and sentiments. Latin America was once forced into globalization and moved in unprepared, stumbling. It survived by adapting. It is an export-based economy. Moving out is likely to be very costly in economic terms. Is this unavoidable or are there alternatives?

            Globalization, as is widely perceived, mainly benefits liberal democracies. But is this really true? The Chinese pro-globalization strategy certainly questions this position. And if globalization collapses in parts of the world, does it make sense to follow like lemmings. Or is it not better to go on as much as possible, making use of the potentials of globalization? In other words, if the United Kingdom wants Brexit, why should the remaining European Union give up its ambitions?

            Globalization will not end, since economic advantages and constraints will enforce its rise, as it materialized over the entire history of mankind. The rise of homo sapiens over thousands of years has taken place due to a superior brain, excellent language abilities and a tremendous talent to collaborate. But, of course, mistakes of humans as of political and social organizations can cause a break of further globalization for some time. In many ways, the current world is not much more open than it was before World War I. In any case: Those nations and continents ignoring historical lessons will eventually fall behind.

            Alfredo Toro Hardy offers us some advanced training. The author of this book deserves significant attention: After a long and successful career as top diplomat, ambassador and global scholar, he is exploiting his deep knowledge and experience acquired over a worklife to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time.

            I have had the privilege to learn him and his lovely wife during a joint tenure as a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Resident Scholar in 2017. During this period, we have had many inspiring and fruitful exchanges about the future of our worlds and the challenges of life. I have always been impressed by his deep insights in complex issues and his balanced views on controversial or even explosive topics.

            In his unique way, Alfredo Toro Hardy, develops the perspectives of his continent in this world at the crossroads as the Voice of Latin America. Chapter by chapter, he sharpens our views for the challenges to come and the strengths, Latin America is able to mobilize. What is the right path for the continent? As the author states (p. 388): “Fast moving nations, indeed, appeared to be the better prepared to take advantage from a rapidly moving global market-place.” It is ‘flexibility, stupid’, making the difference. Investing in the technological advances in the fields of knowledge transfer, communications and transportations still make sense. And the continent needs to embrace, not to fight the upcoming digital economy.

            Hence, Alfredo Toro Hardy suggests that (p. 393) “pragmatism, resilience, creativeness, imagination, and the joining together of Latin American forces, will have to guide the region’s actions in the foreseeable future.” This implies to develop the integration of the Latin American markets even further through free trade agreements while keeping open to the global economy, in particular to the European Union. Certainly, institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank and the Economic Commission for Latin America can be instruments to foster the process.

Klaus F. Zimmermann , President of the Global Labor Organization, Professor Emeritus, Bonn University, UNU-MERIT & Maastricht University, Rockefeller Foundation Policy Fellow 2017″


How gender and family types shape wealth and homeownership: New book from Palgrave Macmillan

Two Fellows of the Global Labor Organization (GLO) have just published a new study on “Wealth and Homeownership: Women, Men and Families” with the prominent publisher Palgrave Macmillan. In this timely book, Mariacristina Rossi and Eva Sierminska analyze the complex relationship between gender, wealth and homeownership. By providing a conceptual framework to insert homeownership and housing decisions within an economic rationale, the authors explore how gender and family types have shaped wealth accumulation and homeownership.​

MORE DETAILS – Content and Order

GLO Fellow Mariacristina Rossi is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Turin, Italy. Her research interests include intertemporal saving and consumption choices, household finance, development and gender economics.

GLO Fellow Mariacristina Rossi

GLO Fellow Eva M. Sierminska is Senior Researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, Luxembourg. She is a labor economist and has extensive research experience in the area of labor markets, inequality, household finance and population economics.

GLO Fellow Eva M. Sierminska


Book Series “Population Economics”: Contributions Invited

The Editors of the Journal of Population Economics are also editing the Springer book series in “Population Economics”. Researchers working on human resources issues are invited to send book proposals to the publisher at Springer, Martina Nolte-Bohres ( The Global Labor Organization (GLO) supports the Journal of Population Economics.


Population Economics

Editor-in-Chief: Klaus F. Zimmermann
Editors: Alessandro Cigno, Erdal Tekin, Junsen Zhang
Managing Editor: Michaella Vanore




  • Covers pressing topics of our time, such as migration, population aging, employment,health, and economic growth
  • The series is useful as handbooks for policymakers as weil as for students and teachers of graduate and postgraduate courses
  • Treats both theoretical and empirical aspects
  • Written by the leading scholars in the field, employing the latest research methodologies

Research on population economics deals with some of the most pertinent issues of our time and, as such, is of interest to academics and policymakers alike. Like the Journal of Population Economics, the book series “Population Economics” addresses a wide range of theoretical and empirical topics related to all areas of the economics of population, household, and human resources. Books in the series comprise work that closely examines special topics related to population economics, incorporating the most recent developments in the field and the latest research methodologies. Micro-level investigations include topics related to individual, household or family behavior, such as migration, aging, household formation, marriage, divorce, fertility choices, labor supply, health, and risky behavior. Macro-level inquiries examine topics such as economic growth with exogenous or endogenous population evolution, population policy, savings and pensions, social security, housing, and healthcare. These and other topics related to the relationship between population dynamics and public choice, economic approaches to human biology, and the impact of population on income and wealth distributions have important individual, social, and institutional consequences, and their scientific examination informs both economic theory and public policy.

Keywords:  >Population Economics > Household and Family Economics > Labour Economics >Human Resources >Migration Economics

Recently published books:

A. Yakita: Population Aging, Fertility and Social Security

C. Diebolt, F. Perrin: Understanding Demographie Transitions. An Overview of French Historical Statistics

A. Artal-Tur, G. Peri, F. Requena-Silvente (Eds.): The Socio-Economic Impact of Migration Flows Effects on Trade, Remittances, Output, and the Labour Market





GLO President Zimmermann meets MP Andrew Leigh in Canberra to discuss the merits of openness.

Discussion with MP Andrew Leigh on Globalism and his new book “Choosing Openness. Why global engagement is best for Australia” Penguin Books, Lowy Institute for International Policy 2017 (183 pages).

On December 8, 2017, GLO President Klaus F. Zimmermann met Andrew Leigh in his office in Canberra to discuss the merits of openness for Australia and the World, and the mission of the Global Labor Organization (GLO).

GLO Fellow Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner. Prior to entering the Australian Parliament in 2010, he was a Professor of Economics at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. Andrew Leigh holds a PhD from Harvard University and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

As Leigh and Zimmermann agree, global engagement has become a major political fault line around the world, where some argue that trade, investment and migration are threats rather than opportunities. The challenges to an open world are generated by global uncertainty, rising inequality and populism. In his book, Andrew Leigh argues that Australia’s past prosperity has been the result of engaging with the world, a view that complements the evaluation of global economic progress by the GLO President, and is in line with the GLO mission. Not less, but more openness is required in the future for capital, goods, and people to stabilize and foster prosperity.

The Book:

The two men after the discussion in front of the office of Andrew Leigh (left).


The Economics of Population Aging

Now the key resource of the field!

Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Volumes 1A and 1B

Edited by GLO – Fellows John Piggott and Alan Woodland. Both are at the Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales,  Australia.

  • Dissolves the barriers between policymakers and scholars by presenting comprehensive portraits of social and theoretical issues
  • Synthesizes valuable data on the topic from a variety of journals dating back to the late 1970s in a convenient, comprehensive resource
  • Presents diverse perspectives on subjects that can be closely associated with national and regional concerns
  • Offers comprehensive, critical reviews and expositions of the essential aspects of the economics of population aging

Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging synthesizes the economic literature on aging and the subjects associated with it, including social insurance and healthcare costs, both of which are of interest to policymakers and academics. These volumes, the first of a new subseries in the Handbooks in Economics, describe and analyze information from general economics journals, from various field journals in economics, especially, but not exclusively, those covering labor markets and human resource issues, from interdisciplinary social science and life science journals, and from papers by economists published in journals associated with gerontology, history, sociology, political science, and demography, among others.

Table of Contents

Volume A

  1. The Global Demography of Ageing: Facts, Explanations, Future: David E. Bloom and Dara Lee Luca
  2. Macroeconomics, Aging and Growth: Ronald Lee
  3. Migration and Demographic Shift:  Anzelika Zaiceva and Klaus F. Zimmermann
  4. Global Demographic Trends: Consumption, Saving and International Capital Flows: Orazio Attanasio, Andrea Bonfatti, Sagiri Kitao and Guglielmo Weber
  5. Insurance Markets for the Elderly: Hanming Fang
  6. Intergenerational Risk Sharing: Roel Beetsma and Ward Romp
  7. The Political Economy of Population Ageing: Georges Casamatta and Loïc Batté

Volume B

  1. Retirement Incentives and Labor Supply: Richard Blundell, Eric French and Gemma Tetlow
  2. Investing and Portfolio Allocation for Retirement: Barbara Kaschützke and Raimond Maurer
  3. Conflict and Cooperation within the Family, and between the State and the Family, in the Provision of Old-Age Security: Alessandro Cigno
  4. Complex Decision Making: The Roles of Cognitive Limitations, Cognitive Decline and Ageing: Michael Keane and Susan Thorp
  5. Taxation, Pensions and Demographic Change: Alan Woodland
  6. Social Security and Public Insurance: Axel Börsch-Supan, Klaus Härtl and Nuno Leite
  7. Workplace-Linked Pensions for an Aging Demographic: Olivia S. Mitchell and John Piggott
  8. Poverty and Aging: Joseph Marchand and Timothy Smeeding
  9. Health and Long-Term Care: Edward C. Norton
  10. The HRS around the World Surveys: Loretti Isabella Dobrescu and James P. Smith

 For more information, see:

Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444634054, 9780444634047


Understanding Latin America: GLO Fellow Alfredo Toro Hardy provides the decoding guide.

NEW THIS WEEK: Venezuelan Diplomat and Scholar Alfredo Toro Hardy, Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO), explains Latin America in his new book (Understanding Latin America. A Decoding Guide, World Scientific, 2017).

From afar, Latin America looks like a blurry tableau: devoid of defining lines, particularities and nuances. Little is understood about the idiosyncrasies of Latin-Americans, their cultural identity and social values. Differences between Brazilians and Spanish Americans, or amid the diverse Spanish American countries, are not sufficiently understood. Even less is known about the amplitude of the Iberian heritage of such countries, or about the miscegenation and acculturation processes that took place among their different constitutive races. There is no clarity regarding the Western nature of Latin America or about its cultural affinities with Latin Europe. Nor is there sufficient understanding of the links between the Latin population of the United States and the inhabitants of Latin America.

This book’s aims to fill the gap by focusing on Latin America’s history, culture, identity and
idiosyncrasies. It serves as a guide to understand regional attitudes, meanings and behavioral differences of the region. It also analyses the present economic situation of the region, while trying to predict the future of the region. Written in a simple and accessible manner, this book will be of interest to readers keen on exploring the region for potential opportunities in trade, investment or any other kind of business and cultural endeavor.



Understanding Latin America: More information & How to order the book

Leaflet Understanding Latin America.

GLO Fellow Alfredo Toro Hardy is a Venezuelan diplomat and scholar. Graduated in Law from the Central University of Venezuela with several master and postgraduate degrees from ENA, University of Paris II, Central University, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. Career diplomat who has served, among other posts, as Director of the Diplomatic Academy of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ambassador to Brazil, Chile, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, and Singapore. Director of the Center for North American Studies and Coordinator of the Institute for Higher Latin American Studies of the Simón Bolívar University (1989-1992). Elected “Simon Bolívar Chair Professor for Latin American Studies” by the Council of Faculties of the University of Cambridge for the academic year 2006-2007. Member of the Advising Committee of the Diplomatic Academy of London (2003-2008). Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor at Princeton University (1986-1987). Author or coauthor of 30 books and more than 30 academic papers on international affairs.

Image result for Alfredo Toro Hardy