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Economy

OECD Employment Outlook 2018

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The 2018 edition of the OECD Employment Outlook reviews labour market trends and prospects in OECD countries. Chapter 1 presents recent labour market developments. Wage growth remains sluggish due to low inflation expectations, weak productivity growth and adverse trends in low-pay jobs. Chapter 2 looks at the decline of the labour share and shows that this is partially related to the emergence of "superstar" firms, which invest massively in capital-intensive technologies. Chapter 3 investigates the role of collective bargaining institutions for labour market performance. Systems that co-ordinate wages across sectors are associated with better employment outcomes, but firm-level adjustments of sector-level agreements are sometimes required to avoid adverse effects on productivity. Chapter 4 examines the role of policy to facilitate the transition towards new jobs of workers who were dismissed for economic reasons, underlying the need of early interventions in the unemployment spell. Chapter 5 analyses jobseekers' access to unemployment benefits and shows that most jobseekers do not receive unemployment benefits and coverage has often been falling since the Great Recession. Chapter 6 investigates the reason why the gender gap in labour income increases over the working life, stressing the role of the lower professional mobility of women around childbirth.
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298
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The Long View: Scenarios for the World Economy to 2060

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper presents long-run economic projections for 46 countries, extending the short-run projections of the Spring 2018 OECD Economic Outlook. It first sets out a baseline scenario under the assumption that countries do not carry out institutional and policy reforms. This scenario is then used as a reference point to illustrate the potential impact of structural reforms in alternative scenarios, including better governance and educational attainment in the large emerging-market economies and competition-friendly product market and labour market reforms in OECD economies. Flexibility-enhancing labour market reforms not only boost living standards but, by raising the employment rate, also help alleviate fiscal pressures associated with population ageing. Another scenario illustrates the potential positive impact of linking the pensionable age to life expectancy on the participation rate of older workers, and in particular that of women. Additional scenarios illustrate the potential economic gains from raising public investment and spending more on research and development. A final ‘negative’ scenario shows how slipping back on trade liberalisation – returning to 1990 average tariff rates – might depress standards of living everywhere.
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51
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Boosting productivity and preparing for the future of work in Germany

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, August 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper reviews policies to strengthen Germany’s productivity growth and prepare for changes in labour markets brought about by new technologies. This paper also discusses how social protection and the bargaining framework should be reformed for the future of work. Germany enjoys a relatively high labour productivity level but productivity growth has been modest in recent years. There is room to boost productivity growth by accelerating the diffusion of new technologies throughout the economy. Vigorous entrepreneurship and innovation by small and medium enterprises are key for such technology diffusion while strong broadband and mobile networks widen the scope of data-intensive technologies that can be exploited to increase productivity. Widespread use of new technologies will bring about significant changes in skill demand and work arrangements. As in many countries, Germany saw a decline in the share of middle-skilled jobs in employment. A relatively high share of jobs is expected to be automated or undergo significant changes in task contents as a result of technological change. New technologies are also likely to increase individuals engaging in new forms of work, such as gig work intermediated by digital platforms. Such workers are less covered by public social safety nets such as unemployment insurance than regular employment.
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39
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Assigning responsibilities across levels of government - Trends, challenges and guidelines for policy-makers

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The past decades have seen an undeniable trend towards decentralisation and greater diversity of multilevel governance arrangements around the world. Decentralisation outcomes depend on the way decentralisation is designed and implemented. A key issue for the effectiveness of decentralisation is linked to the way responsibilities are assigned across levels of government. The literature on fiscal federalism has provided some general guidelines that provide a point of departure for thinking about the assignment of responsibilities. However, when looking at country practices, the difference between theory and country experience appears to be significant. This paper reviews the trends, challenges and good practices in the way responsibilities are distributed across levels of government. It concludes with a set of guidelines for policy-makers, to better assign responsibilities across levels of government for more effective decentralisation.
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67
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The Future of Global Trade IN FOCUS: Between Multilateralism and Regionalism

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, October 27, 2017
Abstract in English: 


This paper briefly describes how international trade has been transformed in recent years and what has determined its increasing politicisation. It argues that the two main pillars of the global trading system—international trade regulation and the dispute settlement mechanism—are being put under strain due to various developments.

The whole system is being challenged by opposing tendencies: on the one hand, the multiplication of global risks and opportunities demands common action and multilateral rule-making; on the other, we are witnessing increasing fragmentation and regionalisation. The realistic objective that can now be set for the future development of world trade is the preservation of as much as possible of the present system and its improvement in specific areas.
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12
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The Future of Work: Robots Cooking Free Lunches?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The rapid technological progress in automation, robotisation and artificial intelligence is raising fears, but also hopes, that in the future the nature of work will change significantly. There will be changes in what we do, how we form workplace relations, how we find work and the role of work in a society. Some believe that these changes will be for the better: we will need to work less and thus will have more free time. Others think that the changes will be for the worse: there will be fewer ways to earn a living. The central question of this paper is this: will adages such as ‘By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food’ and ‘No bees, no honey, no work, no money’ become obsolete? Will work disappear and with it the societal relations and inequalities that result from differing success in work? If this is going to happen, what policy options do we have to address the issue?
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68
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Another lost decade? Building a skills system for the economy of the 2030s

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The UK economy is set to undergo significant change in the coming years. The impact of rapidly advancing technology, an ageing population and exiting the EU will leave our economy looking very different by 2030. Having an effectively functioning adult skills system will be crucial if we are to manage the impact of these trends, to shape them and to turn them to our advantage. However, there is serious cause for concern that our adult skills system is not fit for purpose today, let alone fit to face the challenges ahead. In this report, we set out an approach to adult skills that would better meet the needs of learners, employers and the economy in the future.
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94
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Building Britain's Future? The construction workforce after Brexit

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The construction industry is of vital strategic importance to the UK. A healthy construction industry will be essential if we are to build the homes, commercial property and infrastructure that our economy and our country needs. Yet the construction industry faces a grave threat from Brexit. We have identified three significant challenges facing the construction industry: Productivity growth in construction has been stagnant, Construction faces severe and growing skills shortages, Construction has become increasingly reliant on EU migration.
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53
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The Future of the United States and Europe: An Irreplaceable Partnership

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The partnership between the United States and Europe has been an anchor of the world’s economic, political and security order for more than seven decades, but we should not take it for granted. The transatlantic relationship faces many dangers. However, the issues that bring the two sides together ultimately carry much greater weight than those that might divide them.The US and the EU have notably different perceptions and interests, the navigation of which requires nuanced diplomacy. Although each side brings different ideas and experiences to the table, numerous areas of actual and potential collaboration can be identified. The rules-based international order benefits both the US and the EU, and it urgently needs their collaborative support.
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51
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Tomorrow’s Silk Road: Assessing an EU-China Free Trade Agreement – 2nd edition

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, June 25, 2018
Abstract in English: 
In developing its international trade strategy since 2006, the EU has placed a strong emphasis on concluding Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with dynamic East Asian economies. Until very recently, however, no explicit mention has been made of China – the region’s largest and most dynamic economy – as a possible candidate for an FTA with the EU. This oversight becomes even more glaring if one considers the magnitude of the economic intercourse that already exists today between these two trading partners. China is the logical sequel in the Union’s trade strategy for East Asia. This study attempts to provide a solid analytical basis for negotiations on an EU-China Free Trade Agreement (formally, Free Trade Area treaty). The first official suggestion for such an FTA, made by Chinese President Xi Jin Ping in the spring of 2014, has recently been considered, cautiously and under various conditions, by the EU as well.
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333
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