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OECD Economic Surveys: Germany 2008

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Germany 2008

This 2008 edition of OECD's periodic survey of the German economy finds Germany enjoying a vigorous recovery after a long period of stagnation. To keep the recovery going, OECD finds Germany facing a number of key challenges including making the tax system more efficient, making labour market improvements last longer, improving education outcomes, strengthening competition in network industries, and making healthcare sustainable. These challenges are all addressed in some detail in this report.

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Improving education outcomes

Improving education outcomes is important for Germany’s long-term economic performance and social cohesion. While student achievement is above the OECD average in science and at the OECD average in reading and mathematics according to the 2006 OECD PISA study, weaker students tend to do badly by international comparison and socio-economic and/or immigrant backgrounds have a large impact. Another problem is that the proportion of younger people that completes tertiary education is relatively low. The authorities are undertaking wide ranging reforms touching all levels of education to tackle these problems. Nevertheless, there is scope to go further by: increasing participation in early childhood education and care of children from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds and improving the quality of such education; improving teaching quality; reducing stratification in the school system; and making tertiary education more attractive and responsive to labour-market requirements. With the reforms underway or suggested, Germany would be able to look forward to higher education achievement and attainment and, especially, greater equality of education opportunity.

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