Promoting Equality Through an Employment of Last Resort Policy
Working Paper No. 545
To put an economy on an equitable growth path, economic development must be based on social efficiency, equity, and job creation. It has been shown that unemployment has far-reaching effects, all leading to an inequitable distribution of well-being. But many economists assume that unemployment tends toward a natural rate below which it cannot go without creating inflation. The paper considers a particular employment strategy: a government job creation program, such as an employment guarantee or employer-of-last-resort scheme, that would satisfy the noninflationary criteria. The paper analyzes the international experience of government job creation programs, with particular emphasis on the cases of Argentina and India. We conclude by considering the application of an employer-of-last-resort policy to the developing world and as a vehicle to meeting the Millennium Development Goals.