The Future of Work: Regional Perspectives

Produced by: 
Inter-American Development Bank
Available from: 
April 2018
Paper author(s): 
Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID)
Banco Africano de Desarrollo (BAD)
Banco Asiático de Desarrollo (BAsD)
Banco Europeo para la Reconstrucción y el Desarrollo (BERD)

The “Future of Work” is currently one of the most popular terms searched on Google. Many technological breakthroughs are rapidly shifting the frontier between activities performed by humans and the ones performed by machines, transforming the world of work. Many studies and initiatives are examining what these changes mean for our work, our incomes, our children’s futures, our companies, and our governments. Most of them do so from the perspective of advanced economies. Much less work has been done from the perspective of developing and emerging economies. Yet differences in the spread of technology, economic and demographic structures, education levels, and migration patterns greatly affect the way in which these changes might affect developing and emerging countries. This study, The Future of Work: Regional Perspectives, focuses on the likely repercussions of this major trend in developing and emerging economies in Africa; Asia; Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Southern and Eastern Mediterranean; and Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a joint effort of the four main regional development banks: the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank. This study highlights the opportunities that changes in the dynamics of work might create for our regions. Technological progress could allow the countries we work with to grow faster and attain higher standards of living more rapidly than ever before. In fact, we argue that the biggest risk for many countries would be to miss out on this revolution. What matters is how well countries prepare to take advantage of these changes to maximize the opportunities, while addressing the likely risks and challenges. Appropriate responses at the level of the individual, the enterprise, and the government are needed. This study explores some of these responses. We are delighted to present this report to the policy makers, companies, and individuals of our member countries. We hope that, armed with the knowledge presented here, and with the support of our institutions, we can, together, foster a better future of work for all the peoples of our regions.


Research section: 
Latest Research
Share this