Occupations and Development

Abstract: The GLO Cluster Occupations and Development is concerned with the nature and dynamics of occupations in the development process. Economic development is accompanied by a proliferation of occupations and more frequent occupational shifts. From only a few hundred occupations a century ago, today there are thousands. And whereas earlier labourers tended to follow in the occupations footsteps of the previous generation today choice and mobility is the norm. These occupational dynamics have tremendous implications however, both in terms of utility for the individual and progress for society in terms of productivity growth, structural adjustment, income distribution, demand for and supply of education, health, and others. For instance in recent times the impact of entrepreneurship as occupational choice has come under close scrutiny: are entrepreneurs subjectively happier? Does entrepreneurship matter for development outcomes? Also, with technology raising the both the skills content of occupations, its task contents, and reducing the hours per annum that the average labourer is working, labour market, educational, industrial and social protection policies have come under reconsideration.  In this light this cluster aims to contribute to the debate on development policies by exploring what labour does, why, and how it matters.

Cluster Lead: Wim Naudé