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OECD Economic Surveys: Germany 2006

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Germany 2006

This 2006 edition of OECD's periodic survey of Germany's economy finds economic activity still weak and uneven, and recommends reforms in a number of areas. Special chapters cover regaining fiscal credibility and improving public efficiency; improving the education system, gaining flexibility in the labour market, and opening up competition in services and network industries.

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Labour Market Reform Should Go on

Major steps in labour market reform have been implemented over the last three years. These need to be followed up in several respects in order to raise the economy’s capacity to generate employment. The present tax and transfer system still implies significant disincentives for labour supply of older people and spouses, which should be eliminated. Unemployment related benefits and active labour market policies can be better geared toward activating the unemployed, while institutional reform of the Public Employment Service should continue. On the labour demand side, there remains scope to raise the efficiency of Germany’s employment protection system. Also, provisions should be made to allow for a higher degree of wage flexibility across qualifications and regions to fight unemployment.

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