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...
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...
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...
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...
07 Dec 2010
Activation Policies in Japan
The Japanese labour market is characterised by high employment rates for men and older workers, and a low unemployment rate. Over the past two decades, female participation has risen, while disparities in the labour market conditions of workers have grown. Further efforts are needed to promote...
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...
21 Oct 2010
Activation Policies in Switzerland
This report examines the performance of public employment services and the effectiveness of
activation strategies in Switzerland. It covers the role of the key actors in labour market policy, the
placement function of the Public Employment Service (PES), the structure of out-of-work benefits...
08 Dec 2006
Activation Strategies and the Performance of Employment Services in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
Strategies to 'activate' the unemployed with the help of high-quality employment services have
continuously gained importance in the policy debate. The purpose of this report is to examine how
activation strategies and the performance of employment services are addressed in three countries...
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...
01 Sep 2011
Aggregate Earnings and Macroeconomic Shocks
I examine the effect of labour market policies and institutions on the transmission of macroeconomic shocks to the labour market, using both aggregate and industry-level annual data for 23 OECD countries, 23 business-sector industries and up to 29 years. I find that high and progressive labour...
17 Feb 2006
Alternative Measures of Well-Being
All discussions about the desirability of policy reforms rest on judgements about their effects on individuals and societal well-being. Yet, suitable measures for assessing how well-being is changing over time or compares across countries are lacking. This problem is, of course, not new and...
09 June 2006
An Age Perspective on Economic Well-Being and Social Protection in Nine OECD Countries
For a number of reasons, incomes vary strongly with age. The nature of this variation is of interest for a wide range of policy purposes. Since age structures differ across countries, knowledge about the incomes earned by different age groups is also necessary for understanding and interpreting...
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...
28 Nov 2012
An Overview of Australia's System of Income and Employment Assistance for the Unemployed
This report provides an overview of Australia’s labour market policies, with a focus on income support benefits and employment assistance for people of working age. It traces historical developments partly since 1990 and since 1978 in the case of some data series...
29 Nov 2011
Are Recent Immigrants Different? A New Profile of Immigrants in the OECD based on DIOC 2005/06
Increasing international migration and changing immigrant populations in OECD countries make international comparable data on migrant populations essential. These data should be updated regularly to capture a detailed picture of migrant populations. This document presents the first results of...
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...
02 Dec 2004
Average and Marginal Effective Tax Rates Facing Workers in the EU
Macro-based effective tax rate (ETR) measures do not provide information on the level or distribution of marginal effective tax rates thought to influence household behaviour. They also do not capture differences in average ETRs facing different population sub-groups. I use EUROMOD, an EUwide...
17 Dec 2004
Benefit Coverage Rates and Household Typologies
The OECD regularly produces estimates of tax burdens and benefit entitlements for a range of "typical household" situations. The results of these calculations (published in the Benefits and Wages and Taxing Wages series) are frequently used to compare countries’ tax-benefit systems and to...
16 Dec 2005
Can Parents Afford to Work?
Finding a suitable balance of work and family life is not an easy task for parents who face multiple, and potentially conflicting, demands. Childcare policies play a crucial role in helping parents reconcile care and employment-related tasks. But inconsistent or poorly implemented policies can...
04 July 2012
Capital's Grabbing Hand? A Cross-Country/Cross-Industry Analysis of the Decline of the Labour Share
We examine the determinants of the within-industry decline of the labour share, using industry-level annual data for 25 OECD countries, 20 business-sector industries and covering up to 28 years. We find that total factor productivity growth – which captures (albeit imprecisely)...
13 Mar 2003
Career Interruptions Due to Parental Leave
Parental leave mandates are associated with high female employment rates, but with reductions in relative female wages if leave is of extended durations. If fathers were given longer periods of leave, would it shorten the career breaks of women? We analyze the impact of family policies of...
28 Apr 2003
Child Labour in Africa
This paper presents an overview of child labour in Africa. It discusses the incidence and nature of child labour, possible causes, and actual and potential policy instruments. It answers some questions and raises others.
Africa has the highest incidence of child labour in the world. While child...
20 May 2003
Child Labour in South Asia
The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 19% of children aged 5-14 in Asia and the Pacific are economically active (ILO, 2002). These 127.3 million children constitute 60% of all child labourers worldwide. The aim of this study is to better understand child labour in South...
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
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...
20 Sep 2011
Cooking, Caring and Volunteering: Unpaid Work Around the World
Household production constitutes an important aspect of economic activity and ignoring it may lead to incorrect inferences about levels and changes in well-being. This paper sheds light on the importance of unpaid work by making use of detailed time-use surveys for 25 OECD member countries and...
22 June 2005
Counting Immigrants and Expatriates in OECD Countries
Results presented in this paper based on the new database on immigrants and expatriates in OECD countries, show that (i) the percentage of the foreign-born in European OECD countries is generally higher than the percentage of foreigners; (ii) international migration is quite selective towards...
22 Oct 2010
Decomposing Notional Defined-Contribution Pensions
This paper compares notional defined-contribution pension schemes (also known as notional accounts) with two alternative designs of earnings-related pension schemes: points systems and definedbenefit plans. It examines, in detail, four economic advantages of notional accounts that deliver...
09 Dec 2004
Design Choices in Market Competition for Employment Services for the Long-Term Unemployed
Most Western countries have a long tradition of employment service provision by public bodies and non-profit organisations, but not by for-profit organisations. The creation of a quasi-market arrangement is not a simple choice for government. This paper underscores the difficulties and...
04 Oct 2010
Distributional Consequences of Labor Demand Adjustments to a Downturn
Macro-level changes can have substantial effects on the distribution of resources at the household level. While it is possible to speculate about which groups are likely to be hardest-hit, detailed distributional studies are still largely backward-looking. This paper suggests a straight forward...
06 Sep 2011
Early Maternal Employment and Child Development in Five OECD Countries
More mothers with young children are in paid work than in the past. There is a long-running
debate on possible negative effects of maternal employment on child development. For the
first time, this paper presents an initial comparative analysis of longitudinal data on maternal
07 Oct 2011
Earnings Volatility and its Consequences for Households
Many workers experience large fluctuations in before-tax labour earnings from one year to the next, due to changes in working hours, movements in and out of work and changes in pay. Youth entering the labour market and workers in non-standard jobs (such as temporary employment or...
31 Aug 2010
Earnings of Men and Women Working in the Private Sector
The OECD’s "Average-Wage" (AW) concept is commonly used as a benchmark for tax-benefit and pension modeling. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether it is possible to use richer sets of earnings data in order to customize these modeling exercises to the situation of different groups of...
05 Apr 2011
Economic Determinants and Consequences of Child Maltreatment
Substantial numbers of children in the advanced industrialized countries experience child abuse and
neglect each year, resulting in considerable social, emotional, and economic costs to both the children
themselves and to their societies as a whole. Yet, whereas scholars and policymakers have...
10 Dec 2012
Effects of Reducing Gender Gaps in Education and Labour Force Participation on Economic Growth in the OECD
This paper assesses the extent to which the increase in women’s human capital, as measured by
educational attainment, has contributed to economic growth in OECD countries over the past five decades.
Using cross-country/time series data covering 30 countries from 1960 to 2008 on education (the...
09 Jan 2012
Eligibility Criteria for Unemployment Benefits
Eligibility criteria for unemployment benefits, which require recipients to actively look for work, take
up suitable job offers or take part in active labour market programmes (ALMPs), or risk benefit sanctions,
can play an important role in offsetting the negative impact of generous...
09 June 2006
Employment Patterns in OECD Countries
This paper explores the impact of policies and institutions on employment and unemployment of OECD countries in the past decades. Reduced-form unemployment equations, consistent with standard wage setting/pricesetting models, are estimated using cross-country/time-series data from 21 OECD...
14 Jan 2013
Fathers' Leave, Fathers' Involvement and Child Development
Previous research has shown that fathers taking some time off work around childbirth, especially
periods of leave of 2 or more weeks, are more likely to be involved in childcare related activities than
fathers who do not do so. Furthermore, evidence suggests that children with fathers who are...
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...
06 June 2003
Financial Resources and Retirement in Nine OECD Countries
Most countries give income-tax concessions to older people relative to people of working age. Some treat pension income more favourably than earnings, and most do not levy social security contributions on older people. These policies mean that the direct tax burden of older people is lower than...
13 Dec 2012
Flexicurity and the Economic Crisis 2008-2009
A key feature of the Danish labour market is its so-called flexicurity, the coexistence of flexibility
(low adjustment costs for both employers and employees) and security (owing to a developed social safety
net with high coverage and high replacement ratios). This is often believed to have...
15 June 2006
From Inactivity to Work
Many OECD countries have in recent decades experienced periods of relatively rapid growth in nonemployment benefit expenditures and recipiency rates which have not subsequently been reversed. By contrast, in a number of OECD countries the number of unemployment benefit recipients has declined...
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...
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...
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...
29 Nov 2012
Helping Displaced Workers Back Into Jobs After a Natural Disaster
Large-scale natural disasters can have long-lasting effects on the labour market in affected areas in addition to their humanitarian and economic cost. Mass evacuations and disruptions to housing, transport, social services and infrastructure can impede labour market participation. Firms may...
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...
09 July 2003
Improving Workers' Skills
There is a wide consensus that workforce skills are an important determinant for economic growth. Alongside initial education, continuous education and training (hereafter referred to as CET) plays a key role in meeting these skill needs. This report examines possible positive impacts of CET on...
10 Mar 2005
Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries in the Second Half of the 1990s
This report provides evidence on income distribution and poverty in 27 OECD countries over the second half of the 1990s, using data that correct for many of the features that limit cross-country and intertemporal comparisons in this field. Patterns for income distribution and relative poverty...
27 Mar 2012
Income Distribution and Poverty in Russia
The paper is a survey of literature and statistical sources on poverty and inequality in Russia in the 1990s and the 2000s. It serves as a background to OECD (2011), the OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Review of the Russian Federation that was released in 2011. We start with an overview of...