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Economic Policy Reforms 2008

Going for Growth

image of Economic Policy Reforms 2008

Across the OECD, governments are seeking to undertake structural reforms to strengthen economic growth. Going for Growth 2008 takes stock of recent progress in implementing policy reforms to improve labour productivity and utilisation that were identified as priorities in the 2007 edition. The set of internationally comparable indicators provided here enables countries to assess their economic performance and structural policies in a broad range of areas. In addition, this issue contains five analytical chapters covering:

the variation in working hours across OECD countries, the scope to improve performance of primary and secondary schools in OECD countries, how policies can enhance investment in higher education, how geographical factors affect GDP per capita, and the impact of domestic regulation on international trade in services.

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International Trade in Services and Domestic Regulation

Services are often sheltered from competition in OECD economies, and international trade in services has barely increased relative to trade in goods in recent decades. Considerable behind-the-border regulatory barriers restrict the entry of foreign suppliers and make it harder for domestic suppliers to compete abroad. Such barriers include not only the overall level of restrictiveness, but the consistency of regulation across countries. This chapter describes how reducing differences in national regulations as well as the major restrictions in this area could lower trade costs, boosting productivity and GDP per capita.

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