Labor Markets in Eastern Africa: Evidence and Policy Lesson

Organizers: David Lam (University of Michigan and IZA), Ahmed Elsayed (IZA)
Location:Conference Room 2, 1st floor, United Nations Conference Centre Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date:December 06, 2018 - December 07, 2018

Event Manager:

Dominik Spitza (IZA)


The IZA – Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) run the joint IZA/DFID Growth and Labour Markets in Low Income Countries Programme (GLM|LIC programme), which aims to improve worldwide knowledge on labour market issues in low-income countries (LICs) and provide a solid basis for capacity building and development of future labour market policies.

More than 169 research proposals from researchers around the globe had been submitted; among which, 31 grants have been awarded for research activities of institutions across the world, with a substantial proportion of funds routed to research activities in institutions in LICs.

The programme has already taken significant steps to close an important research gap on labour markets and growth in LICs. The programme has already contributed to the growing interest in understanding labour markets in the poorest countries by producing high-quality research outputs and policy documents, as well as through interactions with various stakeholders and impacts on programmes and policies.

In addition to funding research projects, the GLM|LIC programme plays a more active role in capacity development and fostering research activities: The GLM|LIC programme consistently holds short courses for participants from LICs, conferences and workshops to encourage collaborations between researchers and various stakeholders.


The conference on Labour Markets in Eastern Africa: Evidence and Policy Lesson to be held at UNECA Conference Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 6-7, 2018 is an activity of the IZA/DFID Programme on Growth and Labor Markets in Low-Income Countries (GLM-LIC).

The goal of this conference is to bring together academic researchers, policy makers, and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations involved in labour market issues in East Africa.

Ahmed Elsayed (IZA), David Lam (University of Michigan and IZA), Vera Songwe (Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa)


+++ keynote lecture: 30 minutes +++ discussion: 15 minutes +++
+++ presentation: 30 minutes +++ discussion: 10 minutes +++

Thursday, December 06:

13:00 - 14:00   Registration and Lunch
14:00 - 14:15   Welcome Remarks
David Lam (University of Michigan and IZA)
Ahmed Elsayed (IZA)

14:15 - 15:00   Keynote Lecture:
    Vera Songwe (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa)
  "Labour Markets and Economic Growth in Africa"
15:00 - 16:20   Session A: African Labour Markets I
    Simon Quinn (University of Oxford), Girum Abebe (EDRI), Stefano Caria (University of Bristol), Marcel Fafchamps (Stanford University and IZA), Paolo Falco (OECD), Simon Franklin (London School of Economics)
  "Anonymity or Distance: Job Search and Labour Market Exclusion in a Growing African City"
    Admasu Shiferaw (College of William and Mary), Måns Söderbom (University of Gothenburg), Arjun S. Bedi (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam and IZA), Getnet Alemu (Addis Ababa University)
  "Wage Growth and Social Security Reform in Ethiopia"
16:20 - 16:50   Coffee Break
16:50 - 18:10   Session B: African Labour Markets II
    Divyanshi Wadhwa (World Bank), Alan Gelb (Center for Global Development), Vijaya Ramachandran (Center for Global Development), Christian J. Meyer (European University Institute)
  "Can Africa Be a Manufacturing Destination? Labour Costs in Comparative Perspective"
    Markus Goldstein (World Bank)
  "Addressing Gender Inequalities in Earnings and Productivity in Sub-saharan Africa through Innovative Approaches"
19:00       Conference Dinner

Friday, December 07:

09:00 - 11:00   Session C: Ethiopian Labour Market
    Stefano Caria (University of Bristol)
  "Assisting Job Search in Low-Employment Communities"
    Christian Meyer (European University Institute)
  "Hawassa Industrial Park Community Impact Evaluation"
    Jose C. Galdo (Carleton University and IZA)
  "Child Labour Measurement in Agricultural Households: Seasonality, Proxy Respondent and Gender Information Gaps in Ethiopia"
11:00 - 11:30   Coffee Break
11:30 - 12:50   Session D: Education in East Africa
    Ahmed Elsayed (IZA), Olivier Marie (Erasmus University Rotterdam and IZA)
  "Gender Bias in Human Capital Investment: Evidence from Reducing Years of Compulsory Schooling in a Developing Country"
    Yared Seid (London School of Economics)
  "Mother-Tongue Instruction and Later Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Ethiopia"
12:50 - 13:50   Lunch
13:50 - 15:10   Session E: Data and Labour Markets
    Andrew Kerr (University of Cape Town)
  "What is a Firm Census? An Answer from Ghana between 1962 and 2014"
    Peter Brummund (University of Alabama), Brian Dillon (Cornell University), Germano Mwabu (University of Nairobi)
  "Asymmetric Non-Separation and Rural Labor Markets"
15:10 - 15:40   Coffee Break
15:40 - 17:00   Session F: Gender and Labour Markets
    Sonia Laszlo (McGill University), Shelley Clark (McGill University), Caroline Kabiru (African Population and Health Research Center), Stella Muthuri (African Population and Health Research Center)
  "Can Subsidized Early Child Care Promote Women’s Employment?: Evidence from a Slum Settlement in Africa"
    Nkechi S. Owoo (University of Ghana)
  "Differential Earnings, Household Division of Labour and Fertility Choices: An Application of the Doing Gender Hypothesis in Ghana"
17:00       Final Remarks