The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 387–396 | Cite as

Understanding the Links between Labour and Economic Development

  • Ralitza Dimova
  • Christophe J Nordman


The World Development Report of 2013 places labour in the spotlight of development research and policymaking today. Yet, there are few systematic analyses of the multifaceted nature of the link between labour and economic development. This Special Issue identifies some analytical and data-driven constraints to advances in our understanding of the role of labour in economic development, highlights some new paradigms, and offers new interpretations of phenomena in the interrelated areas of labour informality, self-employment, internal (rural–urban) and international migration, and labour force discouragement. It re-emphasizes the postulate that the mobility of labour from low-productivity towards higher-productivity jobs both geographically and across sectors and enterprises is a crucial ingredient in ensuring sustainable growth and poverty alleviation. Hence, government (and international) policy effort should focus on dismantling institutional constraints to this successful transition.


labour informal employment Labour Force Surveys enterprise surveys self-employment agricultural employment migration 


Le Rapport sur le développement dans le monde 2013 place la question de l’emploi au centre de la recherche sur le développement et des décisions politiques d’aujourd’hui. Pourtant, rares sont les initiatives qui analysent systématiquement les multiples facettes du lien entre emploi et développement économique. Ce numéro spécial identifie certaines contraintes analytiques et celles qui sont imposées par les données, contraintes qui limitent notre compréhension du rôle de l’emploi dans le développement économique. Ce numéro met aussi en avant de nouveaux paradigmes et offre de nouvelles interprétations de phénomènes tels que l’emploi informel, les autoentrepreneurs, l’émigration interne (rurale-urbaine), le lien entre l’émigration internationale et le fossé entre les sexes dans la participation des hommes et des femmes sur le marché du travail, et le découragement de la main d’œuvre. Ce numéro réaffirme le postulat qu’une main d’œuvre mobile dans tous les sens du terme (une mobilité à la fois géographique, sectorielle et entre entreprises), qui quitte des emplois à basse productivité pour des emplois à haute productivité, est un ingrédient indispensable pour assurer une croissance durable et une réduction de la pauvreté. Ainsi, les efforts gouvernementaux et politiques (internationaux) devraient se concentrer sur le démantèlement des obstacles à la réussite de cette transition.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment and Development, The University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.DIAL, Institute of Research for Development (IRD) and Université Paris-DauphineParisFrance

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