Research Seminar: Colombia’s Structural Challenges for the Creation of New, Better and More Inclusive Jobs


Monday, February 7, 2022, 10:15am to 11:30am


Zoom (registration information below)

Please register in advance and contact Chuck McKenney with any questions. 

Speakers: Laura Pabón, Eliana Carranza, and Andreas Eberhard-Ruiz

In mid-2020, the Government of Colombia launched a labor reform consultation process (Misión de Empleo) in response to a deterioration in pre-Covid19 employment indicators and changing economic and labor market conditions. Based on a comprehensive review of Colombia’s labor market performance for the 2009-2019 period, this report seeks to provide analytical underpinnings to this process. At the macro level, the report shows that employment in Colombia is insufficiently diversified relying almost exclusively on job creation in the services sectors. This exposes the labor market to cyclical changes in internal demand that are typical for commodity rich economies like Colombia. At the worker level, the report shows that the economy generates too few formal employment opportunities for those with fewer skills and those living in rural areas, implying low earnings, high rates of self-employment, and high levels of informality. At the firm level, the report shows that the labor regulatory regime has contributed to strong increases in labor costs with important effects on entry and exit dynamics of firms contributing to a compositional shift towards larger, more capitalized, and more skill-intensive firms.

World Bank report citation:
Carranza, Eliana; Wiseman, William; Eberhard-Ruiz, Andreas; Cardenas, Ana Lucia. 2021. “Colombia Jobs Diagnostic : Structural Challenges for the Creation of New, Better and More Inclusive Jobs (Spanish).” Jobs Series; Issue No. 30 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.

Speaker bios:

Laura Pabón is the Director of Social Development of the National Planning Department of Colombia, and member of the Technical Secretary of Colombia’s Mision de Empleo. In 2020, she was recognized by the Presidency of the Republic and Civil Service as the best public servant in the country. Laura is an economist with a master's degree in Economics from the Universidad de los Andes and a master's degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.

Eliana Carranza is a Senior Economist at the World Bank Social Protection and Jobs Practice. She is also an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School, in the Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) Program. Eliana works with national governments in the formulation of diagnoses, strategies and solutions to labor force and employment challenges. She holds an MPA in International Development and a PhD in Political Economy and Government (Economics) from Harvard University.

Andreas Eberhard-Ruiz is an Economist at the World Bank Jobs Group, where he works on jobs, growth, and structural change. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked for the European Commission and for the Ugandan Finance Ministry as a Fellow of the UK’s Overseas Development Institute. His research focuses on trade and competitiveness, and regional market integration. He holds a PhD from the University of Sussex.