Labor Market Policies in Canada and Latin America: Challenges of the New Millennium

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Canada and the countries of Latin America are in the midst of major changes and choices in the area of labor markets and related social policy. These decisions are likely to have profound consequences for the quality of life of workers throughout the hemisphere. Labor Market Policies in Canada and Latin America: Challenges of the New Millennium reviews the evidence of Canada and Latin America on three major labor policy instruments - unemployment insurance, minimum wages and training - and on the effects of the payroll taxes which are the main means of funding the unemployment insurance system and other components of social expenditure. This is the first study attempting an in-depth comparison of these labor policy instruments between Canada and Latin America. The useful juxtaposition of Canadian and Latin American experiences comes at a time when the trend in Canada is to back away from the perhaps overly generous or ineffectively administered elements of the labor legislation/social security net and when Latin American countries have undertaken significant reforms of their past systems but require further changes to move toward the sorts of legislation and support systems that characterize developed countries. The experiences of Canada and Latin America are mutually relevant since all are small economies forced to adjust to events at the world or hemispheric level and most are inclined to approach policy in an intermediate fashion which falls between the more market-oriented American and the more interventionist European models. Together with its comparative aspect, this volume attempts a more balanced and in-depth assessment in each of the policy areas than has hitherto been available. The gradually increasing base of available empirical data on the period after the reforms has been used in the studies, which provide thorough syntheses of the available research for Canada and Latin America.