OECD Journal: Economic Studies

Frequency :
1995-2856 (online)
1995-2848 (print)
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OECD Journal: Economic Studies publishes articles in the area of economic policy analysis, applied economics and statistical analysis, generally with an international or cross-country dimension. While it draws significantly on economic papers produced by the Economics Department and other parts of the OECD Secretariat for the Organisation’s intergovernmental committees, the submission of articles produced by non-OECD authors is encouraged. We also welcome comments on articles previously published in the journal. Now published as part of the OECD Journal package.


Volume 2009, Issue 1 You do not have access to this content

Publication Date :
13 Jan 2010

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  13 Jan 2010 Click to Access:  The wage premium on tertiary education
Hubert Strauss, Christine de la Maisonneuve
This study focuses on the single most important component of the private return on tertiary education, the gross wage premium. There are at least two additional reasons for paying particular attention to wage premia. First, the wage premium earned by existing graduates is easy to observe, so high-school leavers can be assumed to take it into account when deciding for or against enrolment in tertiary education. Second, to the extent that wages reflect marginal labour productivity, estimates of wage premia are sometimes used to assess the quality of human capital in an economy with a view to correcting simpler measures based on years of schooling or attainment levels.
  13 Jan 2010 Click to Access:  The role of teacher compensation and selected accountability policies for learning outcomes
Romina Boarini, Elke Lüdemann
Educational outcomes are shaped by a wide range of factors, including innate students’ characteristics, family and school background and other environmental factors. But a key-question for policy-makers is what schools and school policies can do to raise overall student performance. Several studies have indeed shown the positive effect of an increase in cognitive skills and competencies on both social and individual economic welfare. From a macroeconomic viewpoint, international differences in student achievement tests have been shown to increase long-run economic growth. Our analysis focuses on the quality of school systems, i.e. on the association of educational policies with average learning outcomes.
  13 Jan 2010 Click to Access:  The policy determinants of investment in tertiary education
Joaquim Oliveira Martins, Romina Boarini, Hubert Strauss, Christine de la Maisonneuve

The purpose of this article is to discuss how policies can affect investment in tertiary education in ways that would eliminate some of the perceived shortcomings of existing systems, while preserving or (preferably) enhancing equality of access to higher education.
To this end, the analysis focuses on the institutional set-up of tertiary education that provides incentives for supplying quality educational services; the private returns from higher education which act to attract prospective students; and, individual funding mechanisms to help overcome the liquidity constraints that may restrict participation in higher education. These mechanisms should also be designed so as to prevent uncertainty about future incomes from unduly deterring investment in tertiary studies by risk-averse individuals.

Joaquim Oliveira Martins, Romina Boarini, Hubert Strauss and Christine de la Maisonneuve

  13 Jan 2010 Click to Access:  How competitive is product market regulation in India?
Paul Conway, Richard Herd

This paper assesses the extent to which India's regulatory environment promotes or inhibits competition in markets where technology and market conditions make competition viable. The analysis is based on the OECD’s indicators of Product Market Regulation (PMR) which have been used extensively over the last decade to benchmark regulatory frameworks in OECD countries and have proven useful in encouraging countries to implement structural reforms that enhance economic performance.

  13 Jan 2010 Click to Access:  Improving public spending efficiency in primary and secondary education
Douglas Sutherland, Robert Price, Frédéric Gonand
Influenced by the perceived link between higher levels of educational attainment and growth, the education sector has seen significant reform efforts in recent years in a number of countries. Public spending in this sector has increased on average by one-fifth in real terms over the past decade and growth in terms of spending per student has also been marked in many countries (Figure 1, upper panel); governments in the OECD area now spend on average around 3% of GDP on primary and secondary education. However, a close correspondence between the level of resources and educational outcomes is difficult to demonstrate empirically: cross-sectional evidence reveals only a weak correlation between national spending per student or teaching resources and mean pupil performance in standardised tests (Figure 1, lower panels). Extra resources devoted to education do not automatically lead to commensurate improvements in outcomes.
  13 Jan 2010 Click to Access:  What is holding back productivity growth in India ?
Sean Dougherty, Richard Herd, Thomas Chalaux

This article examines recent micro-evidence on the productivity of Indian firms, helping to explain why India’s manufacturing sector has not performed as well as many observers expected. A series of structural distortions are documented, all of which may depress the performance of manufacturing, and thus the economy as a whole.

These distortions exist at multiple levels, and reflect long-standing problems with the reallocation of labour across sectors, the excessively small scale of firms, low firm turnover, poor product market integration, high industry concentration and persistent state ownership. Combined, these phenomena represent severe restraints on the level and growth of productivity in manufacturing, and suggest that much remains to be done to improve the strength and sustainability of India’s development path.

  13 Jan 2010 Click to Access:  Effects of environmental policy on the type of innovation
Ivan Hascic, Frans de Vries, Nick Johnstone, Neelakshi Medhi

This article uses patent data to assess policy factors (domestic and international) for patenting activity in automotive emission control technologies. Particular attention is paid to the role of different policy types and fuel prices on both post-combustion and integrated abatement technologies. The results confirm that fuel prices have played a role in the development of integrated strategies, while regulatory standards have been more important with respect to post-combustion technologies.  In addition, ‘integrated’ abatement strategies are more closely linked to general determinants of innovation than is the case for post-combustion technologies. This has implications for the design of policies which encourage innovations with both private and public benefits. 

  13 Jan 2010 Click to Access:  The policy determinants of hours worked across OECD countries
Orsetta Causa

This article investigates the policy determinants of hours worked among employed individuals in OECD countries, focussing on the impact of taxation, working-time regulations, and other labour and product market policies. It explores the factors underlying cross-country differences in hours worked — in line with previous aggregate approaches — while at the same time it looks more closely at labour force heterogeneity — in the vein of microeconomic labour supply models. The paper shows that policies and institutions have a different impact on working hours of men and women. Firstly, while high marginal taxes create a disincentive to work longer hours for women, their impact on hours worked by men is almost insignificant. Secondly, working-time regulations have a significant impact on hours worked by men, and this impact differs across education categories. Thirdly, other labour and product market policies, in particular stringent employment protection of workers on regular contracts and competition-restraining product market policies, have a negative impact on hours worked by men, over and beyond their impact on employment levels.

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