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IZA-Workshop: "Labor Markets and Innovation during Times of War and Reconstruction"

18.05.2023 Calls for papers

Call for Papers for the workshop "Labor Markets and Innovation during Times of War and Reconstruction" on October 27—28 (online), co-organized by Hartmut Lehmann (IOS). Deadline for submissions: July 15, 2023.

The Russian aggression against Ukraine has brought incredible destruction in Ukraine and suffering for the Ukrainian population. In the first two months after February 24th, 2022, economic activities came to a standstill for most Ukrainian workers and firms. However, as time passed, the Ukrainian population has shown its resilience and tremendous courage as economic activity slowly but steadily recovered. Like in many prior conflicts, labor markets and economic production have continued to exist in Ukraine.

Military conflicts have short-term and long-term effects on the labor market, which influence growth, innovation, and development. One strand of research that we want to bring together in the workshop relates to evidence on such short-term and long-term effects, for past military conflicts in Europe (e.g., the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s and World War II), in the Middle East, in Africa, Asia and Latin America. A thorough knowledge of these effects is instrumental when developing policies that guarantee an effective rebuilding of war-torn countries. The reconstruction of the Ukrainian labor market will be an important building block in the envisioned integration process of Ukraine into the European Union.

Interstate war but also civil wars do not only affect the labor market of the affected territories but also labor markets of neighboring countries that experience an influx of refugees. A second strand of research that we wish to invite deals therefore with the impact of large inflows of forced migrants on native workers in the receiving countries as well as with the social and labor market integration of refugees.

During wartime, countries channel most of their resources to the military domain. Economies then operate under wartime regimes, turning productive capacities into facilities for weaponry production. War allies deliver resources and technology; in contrast, war adversaries strategically target critical infrastructure and research facilities. The reorganization of economic structures potentially threatens or improves the level of knowledge and research across different economic sectors and, hence, alters the innovative capacities of countries. The third strand of research that we would like to address relates to the impact of war preparation, warfare and reconstruction on innovation and R&D.

Possible research questions covered in the workshop include but are not limited to:

  • What is the labor market experience of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) regarding employment, youth unemployment, long-term unemployment, and wages relative to local individuals not affected by displacement?
  • How does the loss of property, human capital and social networks affect the future economic activity of war-affected individuals as salaried workers, self-employed and entrepreneurs? How do war-related interruptions in education and qualification contribute to slow economic growth and rising inequality in the long run?
  • What are the potential labor market consequences for individuals who are physically or psychologically traumatized by war exposure?
  • How do labor markets of neighboring countries cope with a massive influx of refugees?
  • Which policies and labor market institutions of neighboring countries are conducive to facilitate labor market integration of international refugees?
  • How do military conflicts affect entrepreneurship and innovation?
  • How do losses in physical capital and R&D impact the sectoral structure of economies?
  • How do military technology spillovers or resource reallocation during wartime affect innovation and growth in the post-war period?

Proposals should be submitted using IZA's online application form. The deadline for submission of complete papers or extended abstracts is July 15, 2023. Complete papers are strongly preferred.

Authors of submitted papers or extended abstracts will be notified no later than August 15, 2023, as to whether their paper has been accepted for the workshop. Complete papers will be due on October 15, 2023.

Note: Submissions are open to all, and all submitters will be invited to attend (virtually). All interested researchers may sign up to live-stream the event. Please feel free to share this call for papers with others who may have relevant research to present.


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