On August 22, the World Bank Group’s Development Policy Research Unit hosted an hour-long virtual discussion on labor regulations and enforcement. Tim Gindling, a professor of economics and expert on minimum wage policy impacts in Latin America, joined the discussion with other leading experts from around the world for the event which was broadcast live on the World Bank Group website.
The focus of the discussion was on the role wages and enforcement of minimum wage policy play in understanding both employment and economic outcomes in the developing world. Gindling has spent the last fifteen years researching minimum wage policy in Latin America and has recently expanded his research to look at policies in other developing countries such as China. He discussed his work in these areas during the broadcast.
“In a number of developing countries, mostly through Latin America, wages tend to be thought of in monthly terms. For that reason, minimum wages tend to be set for monthly minimum wages or daily minimum wages for full-time workers,” explained Gindling. “One thing this does is that it makes it very difficult for part-time workers to be paid minimum wages or to impose compliance on employers for part-time workers or overtime work effectively.”
Gindling’s research has helped lead to change in minimum wage policies and compliance in countries such as Costa Rica, where he helped implement a government program to increase compliance. The program included increased inspections, easier access for employees to voice concerns over their wages, and a large scale publicity campaign to bring attention to minimum wage non-compliance.
During the discussion, Gindling joined other experts including Haroon Bhorat, director of the Development Policy Research Unit at the World Bank Group; Piotr Lewandowski, president of the Board at the Institute for Structural Research (IBS), a research institute based in Warsaw, Poland; Lucas Ronconi, economist and Ph.D. in public policy scholar at the University of California, Berkeley; and Uma Rani, senior economist at the International Labour Office Research Department.
Image: Tim Gindling. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.