Impact on employment and migration of structural and rural transformation

January 12, 2016 - Author: ,

Tschirley, D., & Reardon, T. (2016). Impact on employment and migration of structural and rural transformation (No. 1096-2016-88377).


This paper examines how global drivers of employment change might play out in the developing world over the next two-to three decades. It first considers exogenous trends that have effects on employment: demographic trends, and trends in industrialization and automation. It then examines responses that might offset the impacts of these challenging trends. Finally, it proposes a country classification to organize discussion of policy and programmatic responses.
The paper finds that the widely discussed youth bulge is largely confined to Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and is a bulge only in comparison to other areas of the world: youth labor market entrants are falling (albeit slowly), not rising, as a share of the existing labor force in SSA. The paper also finds that migration in the sense of movement of people from urban to rural areas has declined in importance and now accounts for well under half of total urban population growth in all regions. It appears unlikely that such movement will ever play the same role it played in the urbanization of the early western industrializers.


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