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This report presents the findings and conclusions of a short peer review of road safety policy in Korea. This was centred on a meeting of road safety experts from Korea and from OECD countries held in Seoul in December 2014. The objective was to address the challenge of how to move Korea from its current position as one of the worst performers among the OECD countries in the annual number of road fatalities to being one of the best, in line with the targets set under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • 09 Aug 2005
  • Michela Nardo, Michaela Saisana, Andrea Saltelli, Stefano Tarantola, Anders Hoffman, Enrico Giovannini
  • Pages: 108
This Handbook aims to provide a guide for constructing and using composite indicators for policy makers, academics, the media and other interested parties. While there are several types of composite indicators, this Handbook is concerned with those which compare and rank country performance in areas such as industrial competitiveness, sustainable development, globalisation and innovation. The Handbook aims to contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of composite indicators and to an improvement of the techniques currently used to build them. In particular, it contains a set of technical guidelines that can help constructors of composite indicators to improve the quality of their outputs. It has been prepared jointly by the OECD (the Statistics Directorate and the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry) and the Applied Statistics and Econometrics Unit of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy. Primary authors from the JRC are Michela Nardo, Michaela Saisana, Andrea Saltelli and Stefano Tarantola. Primary authors from the OECD are Anders Hoffmann and Enrico Giovannini. Editorial assistance was provided by Candice Stevens, Gunseli Baygan and Karsten Olsen. The research is partly funded by the European Commission, Research Directorate, under the project KEI (Knowledge Economy Indicators), Contract FP6 No. 502529. In the OECD context, the work has benefitted from a grant from the Danish government. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be regarded as stating an official position of either the European Commission or the OECD.

This handbook reviews the methods employed in price indexes to adjust for quality change: “conventional” quality adjustment methods, which are explained in Chapter II, and hedonic price indexes (Chapter III). Hedonic indexes have a prominent place in price indexes for information and communication technology (ICT) products in several OECD countries, and are also used for measuring prices for some other goods and services, notably housing. The handbook’s objective is to contribute to a better understanding of the merits and shortcomings of conventional and hedonic methods, and to provide an analytic basis for choosing among them.

This handbook compares and contrasts the logic and statistical properties of hedonic methods and conventional methods and the results of employing them in different circumstances. In Chapter IV, it reviews empirical evidence on the difference that alternative methods make in practice, and offers an evaluation framework for determining which is better. In ...

Previous happiness research has explicitly assumed that subjective well-being is U-shaped in age. This paper sheds new light on this issue testing several functional forms. Using micro data from the World Values Survey on 44 000 persons in 30 economically advanced OECD countries with long life expectancies, we reveal a hyperbolic functional form. We find that life satisfaction reaches another local maximum around the age of 83, with a level identical to that of a 26-year old. This hyperbolic well-beingage relation is robust to the inclusion of cohort effects. We test this relationship for each OECD country separately, and corroborate the functional form using a sample of non-OECD countries.

Recent discussions have identified gaps in the existing nuclear liability regimes in a more focused fashion. The so-called nuclear renaissance or nuclear new build1 cannot be limited to the mere multiplication of nuclear power plants. It must take place together with the creation and strengthening of legal frameworks for nuclear safety and radiation protection, security and safeguards. As the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD/NEA) highlights in its Nuclear Energy Outlook 2008...

French
Development planners and project managers have used a wide variety of tools to manage a broad range of environmental risks, including those posed by climate variability, for a long time. Some of these tools have also now been modified to take into account the risks posed by climate change. At the same time, there has been a recent emphasis in developing more dedicated tools which have an explicit focus on screening for climate change risks and for facilitating adaptation. The purpose of this paper is to analyse this latter set of tools targeted to screen climate change risks. The paper focuses on the need to consider the experiences of users as well as developers, and to investigate the extent to which tools are meeting user needs and if opportunities may exist for streamlining the tools landscape. This analysis is therefore an effort to contribute to the alignment and harmonisation priorities of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness of March 2005 and the follow-up Accra Agenda for Action of September 2008. While a “one-size-fits-all” approach or methodology may not be appropriate, there may be opportunities to provide common guidance on specific topics, such as categorisation and risk management frameworks, and to clarify the diverse terminology. In an effort to improve the use of screening and assessment tools, the paper recommends that the development community increase partner country ownership of risk screening and assessment tools/processes, narrow the gap between process guidance tools and data and information provision tools, supply guidance for users in moving from analysis to action and collaborate to prepare harmonised guidelines. While this analysis is limited to tools which have an explicit focus on climate change and adaptation, future work should also consider existing risk analysis tools which are practically used in development planning and modified for applications to adaptation.

Spatial intelligence concerns the locations of objects, their shapes, their relations, and the paths they take as they move. Recognition of spatial skills enriches the traditional educational focus on developing literacy and numerical skills to include a cognitive domain particularly relevant to achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This report reviews research showing that (a) spatial thinking and STEM learning are related, and (b) spatial thinking is malleable. It evaluates two strategies for exploiting these findings in education. Strategy 1 involves direct training of spatial skills. Strategy 2 involves spatialising the curriculum, using tools suited to spatial thinking including spatial language, maps, diagrams, graphs, analogical comparison, physical activity that instantiates scientific or mathematical principles, gesture and sketching. Existing data support including spatial thinking and tools in designing curricula, training teachers and developing assessments. At the same time research continues to evaluate the effectiveness of the efforts and explore mechanisms.

This report makes a call for why the digital economy matters for developing countries and what they need to consider when developing a national digital strategy. The world is undergoing a digital revolution with significant implications for global economies and livelihoods. This revolution is predicated on the ever-increasing pace of technological innovation and diffusion. Digital technologies and their attendant applications are reshaping whole domains of human activity, and are spreading across the world faster than previous waves of technological innovation. The digital revolution is thus too important for any country to overlook. As outlined in Section II, the digital economy can be harnessed for inclusive and sustainable growth: digital technologies make life easier for citizens and consumers, raise the productivity of workers and firms, and help governments extend key services to those who need them most. However, this does not just happen randomly: governments must engage in strategic planning to maximise the development impact of digitalisation and ensure that its benefits are evenly distributed. Using the experience of leading economies in the digital space, Section III looks at some of the broad and generic enabling factors that developing countries can develop and use as foundations for their digital economies. The concluding section, Section IV, examines three key lessons developing countries can learn from other countries’ digital experiences. It provides some guiding principles around thinking about how to craft a national digital strategy that builds on top of the enablers of the digital economy.

This paper investigates the role played by deregulation on firms’ investment decisions in infrastructure sectors. The analysis covers the period 1980-2006, which was characterised by increased liberalisation and privatisation across OECD countries. We assess the relationship of different dimensions of the regulatory framework, such as the degree of barriers to entry, public ownership, vertical unbundling and the existence of an independent regulator with firm level investment behaviour. We find that the impact of regulation on investment is both sector and firm specific. A reduction in the degree of legal barriers to entry spurs investment in the electricity sector, but only for large firms. In telecommunications, the converse is true with barriers to entry having a negative effect on smaller firms’ investment rates. The existence of an independent regulatory authority spurs investment by telecommunication companies but this effect seems to be driven by large firms alone while it is associated with a reduction in investment levels by smaller companies in the gas sector. In Europe, the degree of vertical integration is positively associated with investment rates in the electricity sector.
Classrooms and schools with more disciplinary problems are less conducive to learning, since teachers have to spend more time creating an orderly environment before instruction can begin. Interruptions in the classroom disrupt students’ concentration on, and their engagement in, their lessons. Results from PISA 2009 show that disciplinary climate is strongly associated with student performance. Students who reported that their reading lessons are often interrupted perform less well than students who reported that there are few or no interruptions in class.

Popular belief has it that every successive crop of students is less disciplined than the one before it, and that teachers are losing control over their classes. But popular belief has it wrong: according to data gathered in PISA 2009, the majority of students in OECD countries enjoy orderly classrooms, and between 2000 and 2009, discipline in school did not deteriorate – in fact, in most countries it improved...

French
Pension reform in Latin America has helped deepen capital markets, but with mixed results in terms of increasing national savings. Private pension funds have a still untapped potential to help to improve corporate governance of the companies in which they invest.
French

We revisit the issue of how best to measure the labour and capital shares in OECD economies, distinguishing between production- and income-based perspectives. The former adopts a producer perspective with gross income as a reference: it uses a production function in a market setting. The latter adopts a consumer perspective with net income as a reference, taking account of depreciation and including taxes and subsidies as perceived by final consumers. We confirm a statistically significant but small decline in the labour share across OECD countries over the past two decades under a production perspective. But this appears to result mainly from a rise in the gross capital share caused by rising depreciation rates. Accordingly, we find little or no decline in the labour share under an income perspective, where income is measured net and after depreciation. Using a novel dataset from Korea, we further dissect the capital share and suggest that in periods of price bubbles of land, rising asset values are a key element behind rising capital shares. We also show how introducing land prices can explain how both labour shares and real prices of investment goods can decline without assuming a large elasticity of substitution between labour and capital.

This paper reviews, for a number of OECD economies, macroeconomic developments in household balance sheets over the past two decades. The main findings show that the rise in household debt to historical levels has been driven by a combination of favourable financial conditions and buoyant housing markets. There have also been a number of supply-side innovations in credit markets that have eased the access to credit for lower income borrowers and reduced financial constraints for first-time homebuyers. Total household net wealth has risen and provided households with a financial cushion against a negative shock. That said, households in a number of countries have leveraged balance sheets and the sensitivity to house price and interest rate developments has likely increased. The paper then examines micro level information which suggests that most of the debt is held by households better able to manage it. In particular, the major part of debt is held by higher-income households, who also spend a smaller proportion of their disposable income servicing debts. Lower-income households, with less ability to service debt, do not hold that much and, as such, the spill over effects from this group to the rest of the economy are perhaps not large. Whether the situation remains benign or not is discussed in the final section of the paper. Estimates presented point to significant effects of changes in net wealth on household saving rates in a large number of the countries studied.

Many (bad) things have happened to our planet since PISA asked students about the environment more than a decade ago. The global temperature increased, glaciers continued to melt, coral reefs became increasingly endangered, sea levels rose about 3 centimeters, garbage continued piling up in oceans and man-made disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, have added more strains on our fragile planet’s health. Through national and international initiatives, such as the Paris Climate Conference and agreement – also known as COP21 – governments are trying to co-ordinate efforts to protect the environment; but until society is fully aware of the consequences of inaction, the cost of action may appear too high. So, are students increasingly aware of environmental problems? Have 15-year-olds became more optimistic about the future of Earth? And who are the environmentally aware students?

French
American driving habits are changing. After decades of steady increases in the amount of driving, the number of vehicles, and the extent of licensed drivers, there now appears to be a shift. The growth is clearly leveling off, and dropping on a per capita basis, even at a time when a vast array of public policies continue to support and encourage driving. Perhaps even more amazing are total aggregate declines in some recent years coupled with drops in licensing, trips, and vehicle purchases. However, this phenomenon is still not well known. When they are recognized, these individual trends are either largely dismissed as economic factors caused by the global recession and stubbornly high unemployment rate. While there is little doubt that the sputtering US economy has major impact, emerging research suggests the changes in US driving habits are also the result of a long-term structural change reflective of a host of shifts in demographics, culture, technology, as well as settlement patterns in US metropolitan areas. A set of public policies also plays a key role. This paper explores those macro forces through an analysis driving trends, a review of existing literature, and discussion what is likely behind these trends as well as implications for public policy.
There is widespread evidence that a better access to markets contributes to raising income levels. However, no quantification of the impact of distance to markets has been made on the basis of a sample restricted to advanced — and therefore more homogeneous — countries. This paper applies the framework developed by Redding and Venables (2004) on a panel data covering 21 OECD countries over 1970-2004, and shows that, relative to the average OECD country, the cost of remoteness for countries such as Australia and New Zealand could be as high as 10% of GDP. Conversely, the benefit for centrally-located countries like Belgium and the Netherlands could be around 6-7%. Second, the paper explains why the key estimated parameter in the Redding-Venables model is biased upwards in cross-section samples that mix both developing and developed countries, because of the inability to adequately control for heterogeneity in technology levels across countries. The paper also provides a detailed discussion of the links between the ?death-of-distance? hypothesis, the evolution of transport costs and that of the elasticity of trade to distance.
This paper addresses the question of whether and how long-term financial trends may have modified the transmission mechanism from monetary policy decisions to economic activity. The focus is on longterm changes, abstracting from the disruptions created by the 2007-08 financial turmoil which are temporarily affecting the transmission mechanism. The first series of findings is that a number of factors have worked to strengthen the transmission of monetary policy, including more competitive financial markets, higher household indebtedness, greater diversity in the supply of financial products, greater financial integration and more responsive asset pricing mechanisms. However, other factors appear to have simultaneously gone in the direction of weakening transmission of domestic policy, including greater external financial influences, lower exchange-rate pass-through and a broad-based shift towards fixed-rate assets and liabilities. On balance, monetary policy appears to remain a powerful tool for guiding aggregate demand, but a number of changes that have worked to support the strength of transmission have also increased risks to financial stability.
Many schools around the world are struggling in the face of reduced funding and fluctuating enrolments. Often, the solution to this unhappy equation is quite simply to shut down facilities. But when all the costs of closing a school are considered – financial, material and human – implementing this policy calls for caution.
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