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OECD Economic Surveys: France 2007

image of OECD Economic Surveys: France 2007

With short-term prospects somewhat brighter, and budgetary prospects improved, the OECD Economic Survey of France 2007 looks at some long-term challenges: the performance of policies for education and those for poverty and social exclusion is satisfactory or better in many areas, but cost-effectiveness can be improved and more focus on employment is needed. Policy has begun to prepare for the economic impact of population ageing, but there is no room to relax in seeking to contain fiscal costs and to increase employment among older workers.

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Combating poverty and social exclusion

Reducing social exclusion and poverty is an important objective for all French governments. The current policy approach involves a large number of measures tailored to different circumstances, and conventionally measured poverty is in fact lower than in most other countries, though still higher than can be easily accepted. Some policies have unwanted side effects on labour market performance, and their cost-effectiveness could be improved to obtain better outcomes with the same resources. Concentrations of poverty and social exclusion in certain geographic areas and among certain groups of the population provide one of the most difficult challenges, for which contributions from education, labour market, housing, urban planning and anti-discrimination policies, as well as from the social services, are necessary.

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