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OECD outlines action for governments to tackle heavy cost of harmful drinking

May 15, 2015 Comments off

OECD outlines action for governments to tackle heavy cost of harmful drinking
Source: OECD

Tackling Harmful Alcohol Use: Economics and Public Health Policy says that the increase of risky drinking behaviours is a worrying trend as it is associated with higher rates of traffic accidents and violence, as well as increased risk of acute and chronic health conditions. The report shows that several policies have the potential to reduce heavy drinking, regular or episodic, as well as alcohol dependence. Governments seeking to tackle binge drinking and other types of alcohol abuse can use a range of policies that have proven to be effective, including counselling heavy drinkers, stepping up enforcement of drinking-and-driving laws, as well as raising taxes, raising prices, and increasing the regulation of the marketing of alcoholic drinks.

Securing Livelihoods for All

April 3, 2015 Comments off

Securing Livelihoods for All
Source: OECD

The world has made good progress in improving global livelihoods. More than two billion people have emerged from extreme poverty over the last four decades. Other notable improvements include real increases in wages for unskilled workers, better life expectancy, greater gender equality and more widespread literacy. However, a number of daunting challenges threaten to undo this progress, particularly on the demographic and environmental fronts. While outlining the status of livelihoods today, this fascinating report enumerates the main emerging trends which will have a significant impact on livelihoods in the near future. It looks at a whole range of issues: economy, technology, demography, environment, security and governance. This book presents five possible future scenarios for livelihoods, whose positive or negative outcomes depend on how several emerging challenges are dealt with. It concludes with ideas for global, national and local action that hold significant promise for securing resilient livelihoods for all.

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?

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