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Economic Policy Reforms 2009

Going for Growth

image of Economic Policy Reforms 2009
Going for Growth 2009 highlights the most appropriate structural reforms to pursue to improve performance, takes stock of recent progress in implementing structural policy reforms and identifies five policy priorities for each OECD country that could lift economic growth in the long run. It calls for reforms in a number of areas in order to strengthen labour productivity and employment, including reforms to education systems, product market regulation, agricultural policies, tax and benefit systems, health care and labour market policies. In addition, this issue contains four analytical chapters covering taxation and economic growth, reform of product market regulation, infrastructure investment and the effect of population structure on employment and productivity.

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Population Structure, Employment and Productivity

The composition of the working-age population can influence aggregate employment and average productivity because both employment rates and productivity levels vary across population groups. This chapter assesses the quantitative importance of the working-age population broken down by age, gender and education in explaining differences in employment and productivity levels across countries. Differences in population structure are found to contribute importantly to variations in both labour utilisation and productivity performances. Combining these mechanical effects, differences in the composition of the workingage population account for around a third of the gap in GDP per capita for Europe (EU15) relative to the United States, mainly due to differences in educational attainment.

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