PEP national policy conference in Argentina: "The role of minimum wage and income transfer policies in social protection to the informal sector"

Buenos Aires, Argentina - November 26, 2014.

On November 26, 2014, a team of local PEP researchers in Argentina - who had been granted support under the 1st round of the PAGE program - organized a policy conference in Buenos Aires, to communicate and discuss their PEP research findings and related policy implications to/with policy makers and other stakeholders at the national level.

The study in question aimed to analyze the characteristics of minimum wage and income transfer policies implemented in Argentina, from the post-crisis period of 2001-02 and through 2012, and to assess the consequences that modifications of these policies might have on the functionning of the labor market, employment, wages and income distribution, with special emphasis on the informal sector. Find out more about the research project's objectives, methods, findings and other outcomes

The event was organized as part of series of conferences held in 2014 by CITRADIS – Centro de Investigación en Trabajo, Distribución y Sociedad – to which all of the PEP research team members belong, in collaboration with the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET). The conference was structured around four panels, during which the research results were presented by the PEP team, and discussed with high-level speakers from the Ministry of Labor (Secretary of State for Employment) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Director), senior experts from the International Labor Organization (ILO - Office in Buenos Aires) and national union organizations (Confederación General del Trabajo, Unión Industrial Argentina), as well as specialists from universities and other academic institutions. Follow this link to find the detailed programme of the event (in Spanish).

Main outcomes

In the cases of the Ministry of Labor and ILO, these discussions followed a series of previous consultations between the research team and high-level representatives, through which specific collaborations had been established to inform relevant policy decision-making (of the Ministry) and other debates (find out more). The PEP-CITRADIS team had also been asked by ILO to contribute to an upcoming publication (book), with a full chapter on minimum wage. The presentation and discussion of the findings during the policy conference contributed to strengthen these collaborations. In particular:

  • The Secretary of State for Employment of the Ministry of Labor showed keen interest in the methods used by the research team to process and analyze data from a specific youth labor programme, and invited the team to pursue such analysis, especially in relation to labor performance, as well as to measure the impact of a new "labor law" on youth. Further meetings were planned to be held in early 2015, between the team and experts from the Ministry, to discuss potential influence of the research findings on issues related to the role of federal minimum wage and the effectiveness of specific labor programmes.
  • The ILO representative suggested the organization of a series of presentations on the topics discussed during the event, in the context of the publication of the book to which the team was invited to contribute.

In addition:

  • The Director of the FES was very impressed by the presentation of the specific findings related to the effects of minimum wage, especially given the absence of such regulation and the importance of related debates in Germany. She invited the research team leader to discuss futher these findings and their implications for policy in Argentina, with herself and other members of the Foundation during a special meeting.
  • The experts from the National Unions expressed their interest in participating in future events on the same topics.

Finally, the event received important media coverage, with the attendance and reports from journalists from the national newspapers "Pagina 12", "Clarin" and "ArtePolitica", as well as from the Director of the internationally-read monthly newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique!

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