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Enhancing Job Opportunities: Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union

Length: 294 pages5 hours


Enhancing Job Opportunities: Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union addresses why labor market outcomes have been disappointing during the transition and suggests policy interventions that can foster job creation and reduce unemployment. In many countries in the Region, productive job opportunities are scarce, despite the resurgence of economic growth. The book argues that the primary cause of this outcome is defensive enterprise restructuring—enterprises are improving productivity largely by shedding redundant labor. For the creation of more and better jobs, enterprises should move towards strategic restructuring, so as to turn productivity gains into new investment and expansion. This shift from defensive to strategic restructuring—as well as the creation of new activities—requires improvements in the investment climate. Governments need to remove key obstacles to firm entry, operation, and growth. The authors recommend that countries in the Region pursue a two-pronged strategy: first and foremost, lower the costs of doing business to encourage investment, firm growth, and job creation; and second, develop an adaptable labor market, where employers have incentives to hire and workers have incentives and skills to take available jobs. With contributions by Arup Banerji , Gaëlle Pierre , Milan Vodopivec , Philip O'Keefe

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