This paper identifies and analyses some key challenges that OECD and partner economies may face over the coming 50 years if underlying global trends relating to growth, trade, inequality and environmental pressures prevail. For example, global growth is likely to slow and become increasingly dependent on knowledge and technology, while the economic costs of environmental damages will mount. The rising economic importance of knowledge will tend to raise returns to skills, likely leading to further increases in earning inequalities within countries. While increases in pre-tax earnings do not automatically transform into rising income inequality, the ability of governments to cushion this impact may be limited, as rising trade integration and consequent rising mobility of tax bases combined with substantial fiscal pressures may hamper such efforts. The paper discusses to what extent national structural policies can address these and other interlinked challenges, but also points to the growing need for international coordination and cooperation to deal with these issues over the coming 50 years.
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.