World Development Report 2019

What does the future of work demand? Investment in human capital, social protection and revenue mobilisation.

A provocative panel discussion with contrasting views. It is about time that non-standard employment is given due attention. The standard employment contract is an aspiration that is not completely applicable to our present gig economy. Whatever changes as a result of the fourth industrial revolution, the growth of the informal labour sector will not change. This pool needs to be protected and for that, it needs to be taxed.

A fascinating suggestion of an alternative to tripartism – a ‘pentapartite’ world, where governments, employers, the formally employed, the informally employed and the unemployed come together for engagement on a common platform. There is a loud and clear call for a new employment contract that will accommodate and protect the informal sector in the labour market.  Divergent views on the principle of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) provokes deeper exploration of this concept. In addition, the need for investment in early childhood education is established.

Developing countries are tax havens for MNCs and other commercial enterprises. How can the former extract revenue from these large corporations and channel it to investments in human capital, social protection through labour policies and infrastructure development for their citizens?

This is a timely and crucial report, especially for developing states. Key takeaway: We don’t need to be afraid. We need to adapt!


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