OECD Economic Surveys: Denmark

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1999-0219 (online)
1995-3151 (print)
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OECD’s periodic surveys of the Danish economy. Each edition surveys the major challenges faced by the country, evaluates the short-term outlook, and makes specific policy recommendations. Special chapters take a more detailed look at specific challenges. Extensive statistical information is included in charts and graphs.

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OECD Economic Surveys: Denmark 2005

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04 Mar 2005
9789264008038 (PDF) ;9789264008014(print)

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The 2005 OECD Economic Survey of Denmark, which has the most equal income distribution among OECD countries and has among the highest incomes, focuses on sustaining growth and preserving the welfare system in the face of a rapidly ageing population. In particular, it examines governmental reforms to foster fiscal sustainability and labour reforms to boost the labor supply. It also examines how improving competition could boost growth and how improving the educational system could raise productivity.

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  • Assessment and Recommendations
    Measured by per capita incomes, Danish living standards have been in the top handful of OECD countries for several decades. Moreover, Denmark has paid great attention to its social goals such as income equality and environmental sustainability. Twenty years of comprehensive reforms have put the economy on a robust footing without any short-term macroeconomic imbalances. Hence, policymakers – and this Survey – have been able to focus mainly on the long-term issues rather than day-to-day cyclical pressures. Denmark’s performance...
  • Key Challenges
    This chapter discusses the long-term challenges facing the Danish economy. It reviews recent performance regarding per-capita incomes, productivity growth and income inequality. The fundamental challenge is to maintain growth in living standards while preserving the welfare system. The chapter compares the government’s and the Welfare Commission’s estimates of fiscal sustainability in the face of an ageing population. The first way to meet this challenge is to increase...
  • Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability
    This chapter discusses the outlook for public finances given the pressures that are due to come from an ageing population. It compares the expenditure projections made by the government and the Welfare Commission (Velfærdskommissionen), and their varying assumptions on longevity and age-related health-care costs. Despite differences, the studies suggest that the current welfare system is not sustainable. Also discussed are the appropriateness of the government’s mediumterm fiscal framework (the 2010 Plan) and the need for extra efforts to boost labour...
  • Boosting Labour Supply
    This chapter discusses how to increase labour supply, in terms of both hours of work and employment. The impact of high income taxes on working hours is discussed, and it is recommended that the top marginal tax rate be cut (as part of a revenueneutral package). The parental leave scheme is one of the world’s most generous, and also contributes to low average working hours. Sickness absences can also...
  • Boosting Growth through Greater Competition
    This chapter discusses ways of strengthening the competitive environment in order to help boost productivity performance in various sectors of the economy. It looks at a number of indicators of the strength of competition – including price levels, industrial concentration and product market regulation – and it discusses the appropriateness of the competition legislation framework. The chapter then focuses on the large public sector, which has been slow to open up to competition...
  • Raising Productivity Growth
    This chapter looks at ways to increase productivity growth and build a more innovative, knowledge-based economy. It focuses on improving the Danish school system, which is expensive but delivers results that are just average. It also discusses policies to make universities more flexible and labour-market oriented, how to encourage greater commercialisation of R&D and how to get better value for...
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