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Research Project | November 2008

Joint UNDP — Levy Institute Study Focuses on Employment Guarantee Strategies

UNDP-LevyThe recent financial turmoil has brought with it worldwide acceptance of the fact that, when markets fail, government intervention is indispensable. One manifestation of market failure, within the sphere of production, is the inability of private sector investment to absorb surplus labor. In such instances, government ought to intervene as the employer of last resort, pursuing a policy of public job creation, which is particularly beneficial in promoting inclusive growth and preventing the marginalization of poor, unskilled people. In addition to physical infrastructure, areas that have immense potential to create much-needed jobs include social service delivery and social infrastructure. A recent study, “Impact of Public Employment Guarantee Strategies on Gender Equality and Pro-poor Development,” carried out by the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College and the United Nations Development Programme suggests that by bringing together public job creation and unpaid work, well-designed employment guarantee policies can promote job creation, gender equality, and pro-poor development, thus contributing toward achieving all Millennium Development Goals. The study focuses on experiences from two employment guarantee programs: the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in South Africa, and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in India.

The UNDP–Levy Institute study was carried out under the direction of Research Scholar Rania Antonopoulos. Documents relating to the South Africa and India case studies are available below.


Policy Brief
Full Report


Policy Brief
Full Report

Annotated Bibliography

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