Cristian Alonso, Mariya Brussevich, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Yuko Kinoshita, and Ms. Kalpana Kochhar
Unpaid work, such as caring for children, the elderly, and household chores represents a significant share of economic activity but is not counted as part of GDP. Women disproportionately shoulder the burden of unpaid work: on average, women do two more hours of unpaid work per day than men, with large differences across countries. While much unpaid care work is done entirely by choice, constraints imposed by cultural norms, labor market features or lack of public services, infrastructure, and family-friendly policies matter. This undermines female labor force participation and lowers economy-wide productivity. In this paper, we examine recent trends in unpaid work around the world using aggregate and individual-level data, explore potential drivers, and identify policies that can help reduce and redistribute unpaid work across genders. Conservative model-based estimates suggest that the gains from these policies could amount to up to 4 percent of GDP.
The flow of workers' remittances to Pakistan has more than quadrupled in the last eight years and it shows no sign of slowing down, despite the economic downturn in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and other important host countries for Pakistani workers. This paper analyses the forces that have driven remittance flows to Pakistan in recent years. The main conclusions are: (i) the growth in the inflow of workers' remittances to Pakistan is in large part due to an increase in worker migration; (ii) higher skill levels of migrating workers have helped to boost remittances; (iii) other imporant determinants of remittances to Pakistan are agriculture output and the relative yield on investments in the host and home countries.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the surprising strength of remittances in Bangladesh and other countries in South Asia and the Philippines in 2009. The empirical analysis suggests that the continued strong growth of remittances in these countries is related to the resilience of non-oil GDP growth in the GCC countries and the surge in the GCC countries’ hiring of migrant workers from South Asia during 2006–08. The remittances-to-GDP ratio in South Asia and the Philippines are likely to remain robust in the near term.
We examine the issue of technical assistance versus brain drain repatriation as alternative strategies for transferring scarce skills to a skill-poor economy. Technical assistance relies mainly on expatriate skills and labor from the host country, while brain drain repatriation seeks to effect a return of skills that might have been lost in migration. We show that, even in the simplest setting with imperfect information, a surprisingly rich menu of responses is obtained.