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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Reducing the Size of the Public Sector Workforce: Institutional Constraints and Human Consequences in Guinea
Authors:Mills, Bradford F.ISNI
Sahn, David E.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Development Studies
Geographic term:Guinea
Subjects:civil service
labour law
Politics and Government
Labor and Employment
Economics and Trade
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00220389508422376
Abstract:Public sector employment reduction programmes have become an important component of economic reform efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper examines the fiscal, institutional and human consequences of an employment reduction programme in Guinea. It begins with a brief historical overview of the growth of the public sector in Guinea during the postindependence period and shows how this precipitated the need for strong reform measures in the mid-1980s. Next, it describes the efforts of the new reform-minded government that took power in 1985 to reverse the growth of the public payroll. The transition paths and experiences of departing workers are discussed next, along with the equity and efficacy of compensation schemes. The author concludes that, while fiscal benefits appear to have been marginal and compensation schemes well targeted, the human costs of the programme were significant due to long spells of unemployment among retrenched workers. Overall, the results suggest that policymakers concerned with reducing the social costs of public sector retrenchment should focus on developing assistance mechanisms which increase the rate of workers reabsorption into the private sector labour market. Bibliogr., notes, sum.