Working Hard, Working Poor: A Global Journey

Working Hard, Working Poor: A Global Journey

by Gary S. Fields

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Working Hard, Working Poor: A Global Journey by Gary S. Fields

More than three billion people, nearly half of humankind, live on less than two-and-a-half U.S. dollars per person per day. Studies have shown repeatedly that the main and often the sole asset of the poor is their labor. It follows that to understand global poverty one must understand labor markets and labor earnings in the developing world. Excellent books exist on ending world poverty that discuss in depth many important aspects of economic development but do not focus on employment and self-employment, work and non-work. Working Hard, Working Poor fills in where the other books leave off.

Issues of analyzing poverty and low earnings in the developing world are quite different from those in the developed world. The discourse in the developed world is about incentive effects of social welfare programs, cultures of poverty, single-parenthood, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, ill health, mental illness, domestic violence, and the like. But in the developing world, different issues predominate, such as own-account work and household enterprises, agricultural work, casual employment, and informal work. And some of the policy issues—stimulating economic growth, harnessing the energies of the private sector, increasing paid employment, and raising the returns to self-employment—take a different twist. This book shows how people in poverty work, what has been effective in helping the poor earn their way out of poverty, and how readers might help.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199794645
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 12/14/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Gary S. Fields is John P. Windmuller Professor of International and Comparative Labor and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. He has published more than 150 articles and books and is the recipient of numerous grants from international organizations including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Labor Organization, and others. Earlier in his career, he was named one of the 25 most widely-cited economists under the age of 40, and his book Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security (MIT Press) was designated an outstanding book of the year by Princeton University.

Table of Contents

Part I: How the Poorer Half Works
Chapter One: A Life's Journey
Chapter Two: A Problem of Enormous Proportions
Chapter Three: Four Workers' Stories
Chapter Four: How the Poor Are Working
Chapter Five: Labor Markets in a Globalized World
Part II: Helping the Poor Earn Their Way Out of Poverty
Chapter Six: Setting Objectives, Facing Tradeoffs
Chapter Seven: Growth, Trade, and Aid
Chapter Eight: Harnessing the Energies of Private Companies
Chapter Nine: Labor Market Policies for Generating More Wage Employment
Chapter Ten: Increasing Self-Employment Earnings
Part III: Taking Action
Chapter Eleven: What Can You Do?

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