nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2012‒10‒06
two papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
University of the West Indies

  1. "Beyond Full Employment: The Employer of Last Resort as an Institution for Change" By Pavlina R. Tcherneva
  2. Empowering Women for Sustainable Development By Lisa Warth; Malinka Koparanova

  1. By: Pavlina R. Tcherneva
    Abstract: Over the past decade and a half the ability of the employer-of-last-resort (ELR) proposal to deliver full employment and price stability has been discussed at length in the literature. A different issue has received relatively little attention—namely, the concern that even when the ELR produces these macroeconomic benefits, it does so by offering "low-paying" "dead-end" jobs, further denigrating the unemployed. In this context, the important buffer stock feature of the ELR is misconstrued as a hydraulic mechanism that prioritizes macroeconomic stability over the program's benefits to the unemployed. This paper argues that the two objectives are not mutually exclusive by revisiting Argentina's experience with Plan Jefes and its subsequent reform. Plan Jefes is the only direct job creation program in the world specifically modeled after the modern ELR proposal developed in the United States. With respect to macroeconomic stability, the paper reviews how it exhibits some of the key stabilizing features of ELR that have been postulated in the literature, even though it was not designed as an unconditional job guarantee. Plan Jefes also illustrated that public employment programs can have a transformative impact on persistent socioeconomic problems such as poverty and gender disparity. Women-by far the largest group of program beneficiaries-report key benefits to their communities, families, children, and (importantly) themselves from participation in Jefes. Argentina's experience shows that direct job creation programs that offer employment at a base wage can have the unique capacity to empower and undermine prevailing structures that produce and reproduce poverty and gender disparities. Because the latter two problems are multidimensional, the ELR cannot be treated as a panacea, but rather as an important policy tool that remedies some of the most entrenched and resilient causes of poverty and gender inequality. The paper examines survey evidence based on narratives by female participants in Jefes to assess these potentially transformative aspects of the ELR proposal.
    Keywords: Employer of Last Resort; Full Employment; Gender Inequality; Poverty
    JEL: D63 E6 E24 I3
    Date: 2012–09
  2. By: Lisa Warth (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe); Malinka Koparanova (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)
    Abstract: Sustainable development cannot be achieved without a more equitable distribution of resources today and tomorrow. This paper highlights that prevailing inequalities are deeply gendered. Understanding this and making policy decisions towards reducing these inequalities is a key condition in meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The paper focuses on women’s empowerment as a key process to reach gender equality and, through that, sustainable development. It looks first at the concept of women’s empowerment and sustainable development and reveals how both are inter-linked through the lens of intra and inter-generational justice. Second, evidence-based analysis is done to show what needs to be done and is being done for women’s empowerment, both through building an enabling environment and through enhancing women’s capacity as active agents of change for sustainable development in the ECE region.
    Keywords: gender equality, economic development
    JEL: I38 J21 J24 J48 J78 O15
    Date: 2012–01

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