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Early gender gaps drive career choices and employment opportunities, says OECD

March 12, 2015 Comments off

Early gender gaps drive career choices and employment opportunities, says OECD
Source: OECD

Education systems have made major strides to close gender gaps in student performance but girls and boys remain deeply divided in career choices, which are being made much earlier than commonly thought, according to a new OECD report.

The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour and Confidence says that gender bias, conscious and unconscious, among parents, teachers and employers is partly responsible.

Less than one in 20 girls considers a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) compared to one in five boys, despite similar performances in the OECD’s PISA science test. This matters because careers in these fields are in high demand and among the most highly paid.

OECD PISA surveys have shown that girls lack the same self-confidence as boys in science and maths and new analysis reveals striking differences in parental encouragement that exacerbate the problem.

Measuring the Digital Economy: A New Perspective

February 5, 2015 Comments off

Measuring the Digital Economy: A New Perspective
Source: OECD

The growing role of the digital economy in daily life has heightened demand for new data and measurement tools. Internationally comparable and timely statistics combined with robust cross-country analyses are crucial to strengthen the evidence base for digital economy policy making, particularly in a context of rapid change. This report presents indicators traditionally used to monitor the information society and complements them with experimental indicators that provide insight into areas of policy interest. The key objectives of this publication are to highlight measurement gaps and propose actions to advance the measurement agenda.

Does Homework Perpetuate Inequities in Education?

February 1, 2015 Comments off

Does Homework Perpetuate Inequities in Education?
Source: OECD

  • While most 15-year-old students spend part of their after-school time doing homework, the amount of time they spend on it shrank between 2003 and 2012.
  • Socio-economically advantaged students and students who attend socio-economically advantaged schools tend to spend more time doing homework.
  • While the amount of homework assigned is associated with mathematics performance among students and schools, other factors are more important in determining the performance of school systems as a whole.

Making Economic Growth more Socially Inclusive in Germany

January 23, 2015 Comments off

Making Economic Growth more Socially Inclusive in Germany
Source: OECD

While past labour market reforms have been successful in terms of employment, the relative poverty risk and income inequality have remained broadly unchanged in recent years. Some social groups remain particularly vulnerable, including individuals in non-regular employment, the unemployed and the low skilled. If in employment, their jobs tend to be unstable and wages and income mobility low. Continued efforts are needed to foster economic growth in a more inclusive manner, such that the most vulnerable groups benefit from and contribute to economic growth more strongly and such that the gaps between the rich and the poor in terms of income and wellbeing are reduced. These efforts should include enhancing the labour market outcomes of the most vulnerable and increase upward income mobility among disadvantaged individuals; strengthening skills at the lower end of the skills distribution; revising the tax and benefit system to improve incentives and to ensure efficient and well-targeted redistribution; and to make health and old-age pension insurance more inclusive. This working paper relates to the 2014 OECD Economic Survey of Germany (http://www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/economic-survey-germany.htm).

Green Growth: Environmental policies and productivity can work together – OECD Policy Brief

January 22, 2015 Comments off

Green Growth: Environmental policies and productivity can work together – OECD Policy Brief (PDF)
Source: OECD

  • Stringent environmental policies can be introduced without hurting overall productivity
  • Letting up on environmental policies would not necessarily support a recovery
  • The design of environmental policies is key, emphasising the importance of flexible, market-based instruments, such as taxes, in the policy mix
  • Sending a strong signal to the market through stringent policies that do not create unnecessary barriers to entry and competition, will allow new, cleaner technologies and business models to develop
  • To help policymakers set the right balance, a set of new OECD environmental policy indicators has been developed: Environmental Policy Stringency (EPS) and the Burdens on the Economy due to Environmental Policies (BEEP)

See also: Productivity and long term growth — Do environmental policies matter for productivity growth?

Trade Patterns in the 2060 World Economy

January 15, 2015 Comments off

Trade Patterns in the 2060 World Economy
Source: OECD

This paper presents long-term trade scenarios for the world economy up to 2060 based on a modelling approach that combines aggregate growth projections for the world with a detailed computable general equilibrium sectoral trade model. The analysis suggests that over the next 50 years, the geographical centre of trade will continue to shift from OECD to non-OECD regions reflecting faster growth in non-OECD countries. The relative importance of different regions in specific export markets is set to change markedly over the next half century with emerging economies gaining export shares in manufacturing and services. Trade liberalisation, including gradual removal of tariffs, regulatory barriers in services and agricultural support, as well as a reduction in transaction costs on goods, could increase global trade and GDP over the next 50 years. Specific scenarios of regional liberalisation among a core group of OECD countries or partial multilateral liberalisation could, respectively, raise trade by 4% and 15% and GDP by 0.6% and 2.8% by 2060 relative to the status quo. Finally, the model highlights that investment in education has an influence on trade and high-skill specialisation patterns over the coming decades. Slower educational upgrading in key emerging economies than expected in the baseline scenario could reduce world exports by 2% by 2060. Lower up-skilling in emerging economies would also slow-down the restructuring towards higher value-added activities in these emerging economies.

Can pro-growth policies lift all boats? An analysis based on household disposable income

December 19, 2014 Comments off

Can pro-growth policies lift all boats? An analysis based on household disposable income (PDF)
Source: OECD

In a majority of OECD countries, GDP growth over the past three decades has been associated with growing income disparities. To shed some lights on the potential sources of trade-offs between growth and equity, this paper investigates the long-run impact of structural reforms on GDP per capita and household income distribution. Pro-growth reforms can be distinguished according to whether they are found to generate an increase or a reduction in household disposable income inequality. Those that contribute to reduce inequality include the reduction in regulatory barriers to competition, trade and FDI, as well as the stepping-up in job search assistance and training programmes. Conversely, a tightening of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed is found to lift mean household income but to lower income among poorer households, thus raising inequality. Several other reforms have no significant impact on income distribution.

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