28 May 2010
Trends in South African Income Distribution and Poverty since the Fall of Apartheid
This report presents a detailed analysis of changes in both poverty and inequality since the fall of Apartheid, and the potential drivers of such developments. Use is made of national survey data from 1993, 2000 and 2008. These data show that South Africa’s high aggregate level of income...
07 Jan 2010
Minimum Income Benefits in OECD Countries
Almost all OECD countries operate comprehensive minimum-income programmes for working-age individuals, either as last-resort safety nets alongside primary income replacement benefits, or as the principal instrument for delivering social protection. Such safety-net benefits aim primarily at...
18 Nov 2009
Happiness and Age Cycles - Return to Start...?
Previous happiness research has explicitly assumed that subjective well-being is U-shaped in age.
This paper sheds new light on this issue testing several functional forms. Using micro data from the World
Values Survey on 44 000 persons in 30 economically advanced OECD countries with long...
23 Nov 2009
Activation Policies in Finland
This report examines the performance of the Public Employment Service (PES) and the effectiveness
of activation strategies in Finland. It covers the role of the key actors, the placement function of the PES,
the structure of out-of-work benefits and the related incentives and disincentives for...
29 Oct 2009
Children of Immigrants in the Labour Markets of EU and OECD Countries
This document provides a first comparative overview of the presence and outcomes of the children of immigrants in the labour markets of OECD countries, based on a collection of data from 16 OECD countries with large immigrant populations. Its key findings are the following:
• In about half of...
02 Dec 2009
Income Distribution and Subjective Happiness
This survey summarises the insights that the new literature based on subjective data has shed on the
issue of income inequality and income comparisons. It reviews the various channels that relate income
distribution and subjective well-being. It considers the welfare effect of income gaps in...
15 Sep 2009
Looking Inside the Perpetual-Motion Machine
In the economic literature there is an increasing interest in the process of job creation and destruction as well
of hirings and separations. Many studies suggest that idiosyncratic firm-level characteristics shape both job and
worker flows in a similar way in all countries. Others argue that...
10 Sep 2009
Jobs for Immigrants
Evidence from many OECD countries shows that immigrants, in particular recent arrivals, tend to
be especially affected by an economic downturn. The available tentative evidence on unemployment
suggests that this is also the case in Norway in the current downturn, particularly with respect to...
16 Sep 2009
The Welfare Effects of Social Mobility
The question whether a socially mobile society is conducive to subjective well-being (SWB) has
rarely been investigated. This paper fills this gap by analyzing the SWB effects of intergenerational
earnings mobility and equality in education at the societal level. Using socio-demographic...
13 Nov 2009
How Expensive is the Welfare State?
This paper first presents information on trends and composition of social expenditure across the OECD. Gross public social expenditure on average across OECD increased from 16% of GDP in 1980 to 21% in 2005, of which public pensions (7% of GDP) and public health expenditure (6% of GDP) are the...
10 Aug 2009
Should Pension Systems Recognise "Hazardous and Arduous Work"?
Special pensions for workers in hazardous or arduous jobs have long been a feature of the
pension landscape and, recently, they are the subject of a great deal of debate in the pension arenas of
many OECD countries. Such pensions are historically rooted in the idea that people who work...
20 Aug 2009
Going Separate Ways? School-to-Work Transitions in the United States and Europe
This paper derives school-to-work transition pathways in the United States and Europe between the late 1990s and the early 2000s. To do so, it uses Optimal Matching, a technique developed to sequence DNA. The key advantage of using this technique is that, rather than focusing on a specific...
02 July 2009
Legislation, Collective Bargaining and Enforcement
This paper presents updated estimates of the OECD employment protection indicators for 30 OECD
countries and 10 emerging economies and considers important aspects of employment protection other
than those provided in legislation. Collective agreements often contain provisions relating to...
03 June 2009
Towards a Framework for Assessing Family Policies in the EU
This report presents the results of a first attempt to create a framework for assessing the performance
of national family policies. The report is part of a joint EU and OECD project, which aims to help the EU
Government Expert Group on Demographic Issues in evaluating national family policies....
05 June 2009
Investment Risk and Pensions
The current financial and economic crisis has highlighted the importance of investment risk for
pension systems. In particular, the dramatic spread of defined-contribution pension provision around the
world means that investment risk has a direct effect on living standards in old age. This...
08 Apr 2009
Pension Reform in Chile Revisited
The paper describes Chile’s pension reform of 1980, which replaced the existing pay-as-you-go
public pension programs by a new funded pension program managed by private companies (the "AFP´s").
It comments on the main results of this reform so far, and identifies the current challenges faced by...
08 Apr 2009
Inequality, Poverty and Social Policy: Recent Trends in Chile
This report aims to outline the main trends in income distribution and poverty in Chile, as well as
the role of social policy in these areas. The report includes five sections. First, it discusses recent trends in
income inequality and poverty, including a brief overview of the data available...
09 Apr 2009
Pension Schemes for the Self-Employed in OECD Countries
The self-employed workers make up a small but significant minority of the workforce in many OECD
countries. Moreover, transitions into and out of self-employment have become much more common for a
larger group of workers. It is therefore of critical importance to review and assess the pension...
23 Mar 2009
Work, Jobs and Well-Being across the Millennium
This paper uses repeated cross-section data ISSP data from 1989, 1997 and 2005 to consider
movements in job quality. It is first underlined that not having a job when you want one is a major source
of low well-being. Second, job values have remained fairly stable over time, although workers...
23 Mar 2009
Child Well-Being and Sole-Parent Family Structure in the OECD
This paper addresses the causal impact of being raised in a sole-parent family on child well-being
across the OECD. The question is answered by a cross-OECD meta-analysis and a literature review. There are widely varying rates of sole parenthood across the OECD. Rates of sole parenthood
20 Mar 2009
A Good Time for Making Work Pay? Taking Stock of In-Work Benefits and Related Measures across the OECD
The twin problem of in-work poverty and persistent labour market difficulties of low-skilled
individuals has been one of the most important drivers of tax-benefit policy reforms in OECD countries in
recent years. Employment-conditional cash transfers to individuals facing particular...
20 Mar 2009
Main Features of the Public Employment Service in Poland
This report describes the organisation of employment services, labour market programmes, unemployment
insurance (UI) benefits and social assistance in Poland according to the legislation that was in force until
January 2009, when the Act on employment promotion and labour market institutions...
18 Mar 2009
Managing Highly-Skilled Labour Migration
Most OECD countries expect growing shortages of highly-skilled labour in the coming two
decades, and immigration is viewed as one way of addressing these. Most OECD countries have
introduced policies aimed at facilitating the recruitment of such workers in recent years and efforts along
02 Mar 2009
Activation Policies in Norway
This report examines the performance of the Public Employment Service (PES) and the effectiveness
of activation strategies in Norway. It covers the role of the key actors in labour market policies, the
placement function of the PES, the structure of benefits for the working-age population out...
28 Jan 2009
Pensions, Purchasing-Power Risk, Inflation and Indexation
The rapid rise in inflation in 2006-07 has attracted attention – once again – both to how pensions systems should react to changes in prices, and to how they do so in practice. Although inflation is now falling as a result of lower commodity prices and weakening demand, this brings with it the...
23 Jan 2009
An Evaluation of the Tax-Transfer Treatment of Married Couples in European Countries
This paper presents an evaluation of the tax-transfer treatment of married couples in 15 EU countries using the EUROMOD microsimulation model. First, we show that many tax-transfer schemes in Europe feature negative jointness defined as a situation where the tax rate on one person depends...
08 Jan 2009
Activation Policies in Ireland
In Ireland the placement function of the Public Employment Service (PES) is primarily within FÁS, the Training and Employment Authority, which is supervised by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE). But employment counselling services are also provided by the "Local...
09 Dec 2008
Main Features of the Public Employment Service in the Czech Republic
in 1991 when the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic commenced transition to a market economy. Labour
offices, in addition to providing placement and related services, manage jobseeker retraining and subsidies
for job creation, administer unemployment insurance benefits, and provide guidance for...
21 Nov 2008
Long time series for public expenditure on labour market programmes
The OECD has collected data for public expenditure on labour market programmes (LMPs)
continuously since the mid-1980s. For most longstanding Member countries, data according to a consistent
classification system and definition of scope are available for reference years 1985 to 2002.
20 Nov 2008
Main Features of the Public Employment Service in the Slovak Republic
This report documents the main features of the Public Employment Service (PES) in Slovak Republic,
with attention to unemployment benefit administration as well as employment services. The current
institutional structure was established in 2004. The Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and...
05 Dec 2008
Socio-Economic Differences in Mortality
The analyses included in the report show that there are big socio-economic differences in mortality,
especially for men, and they appear to have become bigger over time. The report discusses implications of
mortality differentials for five major areas of pension policy: the progressivity of the...
09 June 2009
Investment Risk and Pensions
This paper explores how uncertainty over investment returns affects pension systems. This issue is
becoming more important because of the dramatic spread of defined-contribution pension provision around
the world. It has also been highlighted by the recent financial crisis: the OECD estimates...
29 Jan 2009
Filling the Pension Gap
The current generation of workers can expect lower pension benefits in retirement than the current generation of pensioners. Private, voluntary pension savings will therefore play a greater role in providing for old age.
This paper calculates the size of the "pension gap": the difference...
23 Oct 2008
The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Wages and Working Conditions
Foreign direct investment (FDI) by OECD-based multinational enterprises (MNEs) in developing and
emerging economies has increased dramatically over the past two decades. While generally perceived as
beneficial for local development, it has also raised concerns about unfair competition and the...
01 Oct 2008
The Dynamics of Social Assistance Receipt
We model the dynamics of social assistance benefit receipt in Britain using data from the British
Household Panel Survey, waves 1–15. First, we discuss definitions of social assistance benefit receipt, and
present information about the trends between 1991 and 2005 in the receipt of social...
30 June 2008
Reforming Retirement-Income Systems
1. Reforming pensions looms large over the policy agenda of OECD countries. This is hardly surprising since public spending on pensions accounted on average for 7 per cent of OECD GDP in 2005; and this pension spending effort is set to increase significantly over the coming decades in response...
28 May 2008
The Joint Distribution of Household Income and Wealth
This report looks at the extent to which household net worth and disposable income are correlated across individuals. After having briefly discussed the importance of better information on household wealth for social policies, the paper describes the main features of the Luxembourg Wealth Study...
26 June 2008
A Review of Studies on the Distributional Impact of Consumption Taxes in OECD Countries
Consumption taxes are only rarely assessed for their impact on the economic well-being of individuals. This paper reviews various studies on this issue. It first describes the large differences in the size and structure of these taxes among OECD countries, and then reviews the types of...
09 Nov 2007
Globalisation and Labour Markets
Globalisation is having important effects on labour markets in OECD countries. The global supply of
labour has increased enormously with the emergence of China and India. At the same time technological
advances have contributed to heightened income inequality and changed the nature of...
05 Oct 2007
Addressing Labour Market Duality in Korea
The Korean labor market has created many jobs over the past several decades, accompanying rapid economic growth. More recently, this favorable job performance has gone hand-in-hand with a rapid increase of temporary employment and other flexible or atypical work arrangements (usually called...
05 Oct 2007
Life-Expectancy Risk and Pensions
Two-thirds of pension reforms in OECD countries in the last 15 years contain measures that will
automatically link future pensions to changes in life expectancy. This quiet revolution in pension policy
means that the financial costs of longer lives will be shared between generations subject to...
01 Oct 2007
Audit du service public de l'emploi au Luxembourg
Le taux de chômage au Luxembourg - minime pendant les années 70 et 80 puis en forte
augmentation, bien que toujours bas par rapport aux autres pays, dans les années 90 - est depuis 2004 à
près de 5%. Ce rapport compare d’abord la situation au Luxembourg avec celle de "pays de référence" qui
ont également un bon niveau de protection sociale,...
27 Sep 2007
Trend in International Migration Flows and Stocks,1975-2005
This paper discusses broad trends in the rates and levels of international migration over the past three
decades, the places that migrants leave from and the destinations they choose; and some of the
demographic and policy implications of these trends. It raises some features of international...
05 Sep 2007
Unauthorized Migrants in the United States
This report discusses methods of measuring unauthorized migration to the United States. The
"residual method" involves comparing an analytic estimate of the legal foreign-born population with a
survey-based measure of the total foreign-born population. The difference between the two...
04 Sep 2007
La politique migratoire française à un tournant
La politique migratoire française se trouve à un tournant. Face à l’émergence d’un marché du
travail mondial pour les personnes hautement qualifiées et de pénuries de main d’oeuvre dans certains
secteurs de l’économie, la France doit s’orienter vers une plus grande diversification de ses flux
migratoires, à la fois quant aux catégories...
06 Aug 2007
The Unification of the Social Insurance Contribution Collection System in Korea
Korea introduced industrial accident insurance (IACIS) in 1964, medical insurance (MIS) in 1977,
pension insurance (NPS) in 1988 and employment insurance (EIS) in 1995. In line with Korea’s economic
development, social insurance coverage has grown rapidly, and contribution coverage rates now...
15 June 2007
Assessing the Impact of Labour Market Policies on Productivity
The impact of four labour market policies – employment protection legislation, minimum wages,
parental leave and unemployment benefits – on productivity is examined here, using annual cross-country
aggregate data on these policies and industry-level data on productivity from 1979 to 2003. We...
07 June 2007
Pension Reform in China
China is currently in the process of developing the largest pension system in the world, and it is
doing this at a time of unparalleled economic and demographic transition. The central government has
followed a step-by-step approach to develop a system that can accommodate a rapidly aging...
29 Mar 2007
Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage
This report surveys the research in OECD countries on intergenerational mobility – i.e. the extent to which key characteristics and life experiences of individuals differ from those of their parents. A number of findings emerge: Intergenerational earnings mobility varies significantly across...
05 Mar 2007
What Works Best in Reducing Child Poverty
Child poverty is firmly on the policy agenda in many OECD countries. One of the main issues in the
debate is the appropriate balance between the so-called "benefits strategy" (increasing the adequacy of
benefits for low-income families with children) and the so-called "work strategy" (promoting...