Income redistribution across OECD countries: main findings and policy implications

By Orsetta Causa, OECD Economics Directorate, and Anna Vindics and James Browne, OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Income inequality has increased in most OECD countries over the past two decades. This is both because market incomes (wages, dividends, interest income) have become more unequally distributed, and also because redistribution through taxes and … More Income redistribution across OECD countries: main findings and policy implications

Are digital technologies the new Holy Grail ?

By Stéphane Sorbe, Peter Gal, Giuseppe Nicoletti and Christina Timiliotis Digital innovations are everywhere, in our pockets, cars and homes. However, while digital technologies seem to offer great potential to enhance firm productivity, productivity growth has slowed sharply in most OECD countries over the past two decades (Figure 1). One explanation to this puzzle is … More Are digital technologies the new Holy Grail ?

The social exclusion of Roma in the Slovak Republic calls for immediate policy action

by Gabriel Machlica, Slovak Republic Desk, OECD Economics Department The Slovak Republic has one of the continent’s largest Roma populations. Estimates differ, but it is assumed that they account for about 8% of the population The Roma communities vary based upon geographic location and the level of integration. Nevertheless, the average level of ethnic segregation … More The social exclusion of Roma in the Slovak Republic calls for immediate policy action

The pension system in Hungary is under pressure from demographic changes

by Ania Thiemann, Hungary Desk, OECD Economics Department Over the next 50 years, the old-age dependency ratio will double, and public spending on pensions and health-care is set to increase. People will also spend more time in retirement. The 2019 Economic Survey of Hungary is assessing the demands on public finances arising from this population-ageing … More The pension system in Hungary is under pressure from demographic changes

Statistical insights: Are international productivity gaps as large as we thought?

by Nadim Ahmad, OECD Statistics and Data Directorate Labour productivity is a key indicator of economic wellbeing, and raising it – producing more goods and services from the same or less work (labour input) – is one of the main drivers of sustainable economic growth. Historically, comparisons of productivity across countries have shown substantial gaps, … More Statistical insights: Are international productivity gaps as large as we thought?

Ambitious retirement age indexation ensures sustainable public finances in Denmark

By Mikkel Hermansen, Denmark desk, OECD Economics Department Denmark has a long tradition of reforms delivering sound public finances and strengthening economic growth. One foundation of long-term fiscal sustainability was the decision taken in 2006 to index statutory and early retirement ages to life expectancy. Projections of public finances suggest that in this case (the … More Ambitious retirement age indexation ensures sustainable public finances in Denmark

How can public finance reforms boost economic growth and enhance income equality?

by Boris Cournede, Head of Public Finance Workstream, OECD Economics Department Most OECD countries have very large government sectors: public expenditure amounts to 43% of economic activity, measured by GDP, on average across OECD countries. This proportion exceeds 50% in four OECD countries. The programmes on which governments spend have thus deep implications for people’swell-being … More How can public finance reforms boost economic growth and enhance income equality?

Some Australians are at a significant risk of poverty, despite the strong economy

by Urban Sila, Australia Desk, OECD Economics Department Australia is a successful economy with high living standards. It has recorded 27 years of uninterrupted GDP growth. Incomes have grown strongly across the entire range of the income distribution and the incidence of both absolute and relative poverty have declined.  Despite this improvement, quite a significant … More Some Australians are at a significant risk of poverty, despite the strong economy

Australia’s cooling housing market; is the economy at risk?

by Philip Hemmings, Head of Australia Desk, OECD Economics Department Australia’s housing market is a source of vulnerability. Prices have more than doubled in real terms since the early 2000s and household debt has surged. The market has started to cool over the last year, with prices falling most notably in Melbourne and Sydney. So … More Australia’s cooling housing market; is the economy at risk?

The output cost of the global financial crisis

By David Turner and Patrice Ollivaud, OECD Economics Department Assessing the damage from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) is not straightforward, even with the benefit of hindsight provided by ten years of history, because the counter-factual of what might have happened in its absence is unknowable. However, a simplistic, but commonly adopted approach, of comparing … More The output cost of the global financial crisis