This story was written by the ILO Newsroom For official ILO statements and speeches, please visit our “Statements and Speeches” section.

ILO publications

Crisis and creativity: New ideas in macroeconomic and labour market policy

An urgent re-think of development and labour market policies is needed, according to two new books published by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

News | 25 March 2014
GENEVA – Conventional macroeconomic and labour regulation policies are failing, and as a result the global economic recovery has been much slower than expected, say two new publications from the ILO.

Beyond macroeconomic stability and Creative labour regulation call for new and coordinated thinking in policy-making and highlight the linked fates of the developed and developing worlds.

“The two books share one critical theme, which is the failure of existing policies in the areas of macroeconomic policy and labour regulation to achieve their objectives before the crisis, during the crisis and after the crisis,” said ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy, Sandra Polaski.

New thinking on macroeconomic policy and labour regulations

According to the studies, even countries with minimal exposure to the financial crisis, such as India and South Africa, have suffered sizeable income and employment losses as a result of declining exports.

As the Great Recession increased unemployment and the incidence of part-time and informal work in advanced economies, policy-makers across the globe face similar obstacles to ensuring sustainable and inclusive development that is grounded in decent work.

“The attitude of politics in recent years has been more accommodating rather than challenging, and policy change has become almost impossible to do,” Henning Meyer, editor of the Social Europe Journal, said at the launch of the books in Geneva.

Creative labour regulation argues that labour regulation policies too are in crisis. The Rana Plaza tragedy and industrial disputes from the United States to Cambodia have exposed the failure of both state regulation and corporate social responsibility to protect the most vulnerable workers.

“Through creative regulatory approaches and re-thinking the whole problem, we can better make sure... of more positive outcomes for the working people who ultimately are responsible for delivering products and services to us all,” said Professor David Weil, author of the Fissured workplace also launched at the event.

The books suggest the urgency of finding policy and regulatory interventions that ensure formal, well-paid and high quality employment, and offer innovative analyses and proposals on macroeconomic and regulatory policies that should be combined to generate these results.

The publications, including the Fissured workplace were discussed at an event at the ILO in March.

For more information on both books please visit ILO Publications or contact or +4122/799-7912.