Questions & Topics – GEC

Major Questions for the GEC 

The GEC is intended to broadly address the following questions regarding employment globally. 

  • Is the trend toward rising levels of unemployment inevitable and irreversible?
  • What should be the responsibility of society and government with regard to provision of sufficient employment opportunities?
  • Should employment be recognized as a fundamental human right?  
  • Does the present socio-economic-political system contain inbuilt barriers to full employment?
  • What underutilized social resources exists that can be mobilized to achieve global full employment?
  • What best practices and innovative strategies can be adopted to enhance employment generation in developed and developing countries?
  • What special issues and remedies are needed to address the issue for youth, women and the poor?
  • What non-economic factors should be included in measures to achieve full employment?
  • What is the relationship between unemployment, social stability and social unrest?

Topics for GEC Seminars, Papers, Presentation and Panel Discussions 

This list contains a list of seminar topic touching on a different cross-disciplinary dimensions of the employment issue. GEC participants are invited to organize seminar sessions, prepare papers, make presentations and offer comments on these and related issues. 

Legal and moral basis for employment

  1. Do people have a legal and moral right to employment?
  2. What should be the responsibility of government at different levels for guaranteeing access to gainful employment opportunities?
  3. What mechanisms/strategies are available for supporting/enforcing this right?
  4. If all men are created equal, what are their rights? Is employment one?
  5. Does the recent experience of India with guaranteeing employment for the rural poor have relevance to other countries? 

Possibility of Full Employment

  1. Is full employment a realistic and achievable goal?
  2. What insights can be draw from history regarding the initial emergence of unemployment in society, periods and conditions under which it was absent or most aggravated and their relevance to the world today?
  3. Have there been societies that did not suffer from unemployment? Are there any lessons or essential truths that we can learn and apply based on their experience?
  4. Philosophically it is said every problem has a solution. Is that applicable to unemployment?
  5. Problems come to us for our progress. Is there truth in this statement with respect to employment? 

Society, Social Structure and Employment

  1. What is the relationship between political ideology, political systems and employment?
  2. What is the impact of social structure, attitudes and values on employment?
  3. How is unemployment related to the major powers of society, such as the power of money ?
  4. What employment challenges are generated by demographic changes, i.e. population growth in developing countries, aging of the population in OECD countries, migration, etc.
  5. What can be done to address the specific issues relating to employment for youth and women?
  6. What is the relationship between employment, social stability and social unrest (e.g. terrorism)?
  7. How far does prevailing policy with respect to employment reflect the historical tension between capitalism and socialism? Does the issue of full employment necessarily need to be couched in these terms?
  8. What lessons can be learned from the experience of communist countries that attempted to impose full employment by government fiat? 

Internet & Employment

  1. What new opportunities does the Internet open up for entrepreneurship, self-employment, and employment generation?
  2. What is the impact of technological development on employment and unemployment?
  3. How can advances in technology be utilized to create greater employment?
  4. Are the benefits of technological development effectively and equitably distributed in society? How should they be distributed in order to achieve maximum benefit to society-at-large?
  5. Has the Internet increased awareness of job opportunities and made getting a job more difficult ? 

Entrepreneurship, Employment & Self-employment

  1. What is the relationship between entrepreneurship and employment?
  2. What is the relative contribution to entrepreneurship to employment in OECD and developing countries?
  3. What means are available to foster entrepreneurship/self-employment?
  4. What is the role of Individuality in entrepreneurship and self-employment?
  5. What are the trends in entrepreneurship and self-employment in post-industrial/service economy?
  6. What social and psychological factors influence the propensity for entrepreneurship? Can they be enhanced? 

Social and Psychological basis for full employment

  1. What social resources contribute to growth in employment generation?
  2. What is the impact of social and cultural attitudes on employment, self-employment and dependence on the state
  3. What is the impact of social aspirations on employment?
  4. What is the impact of psychological attitudes on employment and self-employment? 

Education & Employment

  1. What is the relationship between education, skills and employment generation?
  2. Is education effectively preparing people for employment generation?
  3. Is their a gap between educational qualifications and the needs of the employment market? If so, what can be done to close the gap?
  4. Is their a gap between vocational skills and the needs of the employment market? If so, what can be done to close the gap?
  5. How can the educational system be reoriented to provide greater support for entrepreneurship, self-employment and employment generation?
  6. How could the Swedish experience (were the unions have special training centers and retraining sessions for their members, for upgrading skills and thus avoid unemployment or find new jobs when unemployed) be adopted by other countries? 

Development & Employment

  1. What is the relationship between society, development and employment?
  2. What are the long term global trends in employment generation and unemployment?
  3. Are there inherent limits in the capacity of society to generate employment?
  4. What will be the impact of demographic trends on the future of employment in OECD and developing countries?
  5. What are the root causes and remedies for unemployment? 

Relationship between Globalization and Employment

  1. What is the relationship between trade and employment?
  2. What factors or trends are impacting global job markets?
  3. What is the relationship between international financial markets and global unemployment?
  4. To what extent is employment a national, regional or global issue?
  5. What factors are driving the globalization of employment markets? 

Best Policies, Practices and Success Stories

  1. Which countries have been most successful in addressing the challenge of employment and what lessons can be learned from their experience?