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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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Enhancing incentives to improve performance in the education system

The French education system has a mixed record. A generally very successful preschool and primary school level contrasts with underfunded public universities with high dropout rates alongside very successful higher education institutions for elites selected in various ways. Initial education, especially secondary education and the universities, along with labour market policies themselves, does not always succeed in improving labour market entry for a significant proportion of young people. Parts of the management of education have been decentralised, yet educational institutions themselves generally have a very restricted degree of autonomy. The system of performance measurement and incentives, at all levels, needs to be reviewed.

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