OECD Statistics Working Papers

The OECD Statistics Working Paper Series - managed by the OECD Statistics and Data Directorate – is designed to make available in a timely fashion and to a wider readership selected studies prepared by staff in the Secretariat or by outside consultants working on OECD projects. The papers included are of a technical, methodological or statistical policy nature and relate to statistical work relevant to the organisation. The Working Papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

Joint Working Papers:

Testing the evidence, how good are public sector responsiveness measures and how to improve them? (with OECD Public Governance Directorate)

Measuring Well-being and Progress in Countries at Different Stages of Development: Towards a More Universal Conceptual Framework (with OECD Development Centre)

Measuring and Assessing Job Quality: The OECD Job Quality Framework (with OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs)

Forecasting GDP during and after the Great Recession: A contest between small-scale bridge and large-scale dynamic factor models (with OECD Economics Directorate)

Decoupling of wages from productivity: Macro-level facts (with OECD Economics Directorate)

Which policies increase value for money in health care? (with OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs)

Compiling mineral and energy resource accounts according to the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) 2012 (with OECD Environment Directorate)


Economic Theory and Practical Lessons for Measuring Equality of Opportunities

The development of a dashboard of statistics for the monitoring of equality of opportunity should recognize important lessons from economic theory: first, descriptive statistics associated with intergenerational mobility do not speak directly to equality of opportunity without accepting a value judgment that children should not be held responsible for circumstances beyond their control; and, second, the process of child development encourages a focus on different skills and competencies, as well as different stages in a child’s life. On the basis of these lessons, the paper offers three practical recommendations for the development of policy relevant indicators. First, use data appropriate for the country at hand to estimate summary measures of inter-generational mobility, including the intergenerational elasticity of earnings between parents and children, and associated transition matrices. Second, develop measures of absolute mobility, and in particular develop a poverty line based upon the minimal level of resources needed to reasonably lower the risk of intergenerational transmission of low status, and that could complement more traditional poverty lines. Finally, make full use of the information on 15 year-olds from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), and expand its scope to include younger children by developing a PISA type instrument for four to five year old children across the OECD countries.


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