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The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for better tracking and monitoring domestic and international investments in health, including on pandemic preparedness. The total official support for sustainable development (TOSSD) framework can help, as it captures both cross‑border flows to developing countries, such as international assistance, and domestic contributions to global public goods, such as pandemic preparedness. This pilot study tests the current TOSSD methodology for tracking the global financing for health, and explores how TOSSD can be shaped to best respond to the emerging information needs of the international community.

This Working Paper presents the main findings and recommendations of the pilot study carried out on the treatment of peace and security expenditures in the statistical measure of total official support for sustainable development (TOSSD).

The pilot study explored the relevance of including various peace and security expenditures in the TOSSD framework, and formulated recommendations to the International TOSSD Task Force on the eligibility criteria, the potential safeguards and the delineation between TOSSD pillar I and II for peace and security expenditures. On this basis, the Task Force adopted in June 2019 specific text on the treatment of peace and security in the TOSSD Reporting Instructions.

The pilot study also allowed to derive first estimates of TOSSD flows for peace and security and a light assessment was carried out of the capacity of the organisations / countries met during the pilot to provide TOSSD data on peace and security.

This paper presents the results of research recently conducted by the authors on ex-post analysis focused on the long-term economic impacts of transportation system investments in the United States (US). For a variety of reasons, the US has had a tradition of making transport investments to address economic development goals and applying ex-post analysis to assess achievement of economic development impacts. These past studies are reviewed, as are some of the deficiencies and suggested improvements in methods for ex-post analysis. The paper also reviews methods to refine ex-post analysis of economic development in the US via the Transportation Impact Project Case Studies (TPICS) system developed as a national database of land and economic development impact studies. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations for broader distribution and support for the tools and methods developed in TPICS, and an assessment of the challenges facing wider adoption and application of the ex-post analysis in the US context. Specific adoption and implementation issues and opportunities are addressed in the context of the US Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) discretionary grant program.
Informality often arises from disincentives associated with high taxes and a restrictive regulatory framework in both labour and product markets. About 20% of the Chilean population aged 15 years and above and working at least 20 hours per week did not have a formal labour contract in 2006. At the same time, nearly 11% of the potential value added tax base is estimated to have been undeclared in 2005. While Chile’s tax system is not particularly burdensome to business formality, there is scope for making product-market regulations less onerous to firms and the labour code more flexible, especially with regards to indefinite contracts and the allocation of working time. Low human capital remains an important obstacle to reducing labour informality. To the extent that informal businesses also hire informally, there is some room for designing policies to tackle business informality in conjunction with those aimed at boosting formal labour contracting. Chile is strengthening its social safety net through the introduction of unemployment insurance and by reforming existing health insurance and pension systems. An important policy question is whether the incentives for formality arising from more comprehensive social protection will be strong enough to compensate for the additional costs these contributory programmes entail. This paper relates to the 2007 Economic Survey of Chile (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/chile).

Waiting times for elective (non-urgent) surgery are a main health policy concern in approximately half of OECD countries. Mean waiting times for elective surgical procedures are above three months in several countries and maximum waiting times can stretch into years. They generate dissatisfaction for the patients and among the general public. Is there a solution? This report discusses the waiting-time phenomenon and provides a comparative analysis of policies to tackle waiting times across 12 OECD countries.

At worst, waiting times can lead to deterioration in health, loss of utility and extra costs. However, one surprising result is that there is little evidence of health deterioration from a review of studies of patients waiting for a few months for different elective procedures across a range of countries. Moreover, such patients are quite tolerant of short and moderate waits, although the general public often expresses more concern about waiting.

It is argued that there will be both ...

Significant labour market mismatches and insufficient mobility penalise employment and productivity. Mismatches have above all a skills dimension, with an excess of low-skilled workers and a possible lack of skilled workers in certain domains. Reducing the high tax wedge on low salaries and avoiding excessive minimum wage increases would support demand for low-skilled labour. In the longer term, upgrading the labour supply requires improving educational outcomes, especially of disadvantaged students, and making the school-to-work transition less abrupt. To facilitate good matching and enhance sectoral mobility, a somewhat longer duration of unemployment benefits and an upscaled Public Employment Service would be of value, as well as greater focus on reintegration in the public works programme and more efficient and developed lifelong learning. Besides skills mismatches, important geographic mismatches are illustrated by high and persistent regional disparities in the unemployment rate. Mobility is hampered by the underdevelopment of the rental housing market, while there is room to enhance the efficiency of public transport to further support commuting.
This working paper reports on the work undertaken as part of the Tackling Long-term Unemployment Amongst Vulnerable Groups project. It includes the findings of a survey undertaken jointly by the OECD LEED Programme and the World Association of Public Employment Services in 2012, and also case studies and learning models from around the world on innovative practices to support the long-term unemployed into work. The report emphasises the important role a diverse range of actors can play in helping the long-term unemployed address the complex issues which may hinder their move into the labour market.
  1. There are reports of current nurse shortages in all but a few OECD countries. With further increases in demand for nurses expected and nurse workforce ageing predicted to reduce the supply of nurses, shortages are likely to persist or even increase in the future, unless action is taken to increase flows into and reduce flows out of the workforce or to raise the productivity of nurses.
  1. This paper analyses shortages of nurses in OECD countries. It defines and describes evidence on current nurse shortages, and analyses international variability in nurse employment. Additionally, a number of demand and supply factors that are likely to influence the existence and extent of any future nurse shortages are examined. In order to resolve nurse shortages, the paper compares and evaluates policy levers that decision makers can use to increase flows of nurses into the workforce, reduce flows out of the workforce, and improve nurse retention rates.
  1. Although delayed market response may have been ...
Effective macroeconomic and structural policies helped Turkey bounce back quickly and strongly from the global crisis, with annual growth averaging close to 9% over 2010-11. However, the current account deficit widened to around 10% of GDP in 2011 and consumer price inflation rose to over 10%. The external deficit, which is far too large for comfort, is a source of vulnerability. So is high inflation, even if it partly reflects transient factors. These imbalances signal competitiveness problems and a dearth of domestic saving. They need to be addressed using both macroeconomic and structural policy levers. Monetary policy has recently tried to reduce the volatility of capital flows but inflation has been high and volatile. The inflation target needs to be given greater prominence. The fiscal stance remains broadly appropriate but could be tighter, if warranted, to complement monetary restraint and help keep the real exchange rate on a sustainable path. More balanced growth through strengthened competitiveness and greater private saving calls inter alia for increased labour force participation, accelerated formalisation, stronger productivity growth, improvements in financial literacy and a more attractive menu of saving instruments. Improvements in the business environment would spur foreign direct investment, making for healthier funding of the external gap. This Working Paper relates to the 2012 OECD Economic Survey of Turkey (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/turkey).

Reducing air pollution is a major policy challenge, especially in densely populated urban areas where human exposure to emissions is considerable. This paper develops and examines a series of scenarios for the evolution of transport-related emissions in the area of Santiago, Chile. The analysis suggests that ramping up efforts to electrify the bus fleet may eliminate 25% of the CO2 and at least 10% of the remaining air pollutant emissions in 2050. These figures increase to 45% and 30%, respectively, if rapid electrification is accompanied by tax schemes. The paper highlights the potential synergies of policies curbing climate change and tacking air pollution from the viewpoint of urban transport.

This paper compares the situation of children in Canada relative to other OECD countries in terms of child poverty and well-being. First, trends in child poverty and living standards since 2007, i.e. one year before the onset of the Great Recession, are described. An overview of children's material deprivation and of key indicators of child well-being is also provided. The paper discusses the observed poverty trends in relation to policies implemented to combat it by federal authorities. Some priorities for action to make the alleviation of child poverty more effective are discussed.

This paper compares the situation of children in Korea relative to other OECD countries in terms of child poverty and well-being. First, trends in child poverty and living standards are described. An overview of key internationally available indicators of child well-being is also provided. The paper discusses the observed poverty trends in relation to social protection programs and to policies implemented to support families. Some priorities for action to make the alleviation of child poverty more effective are discussed.

Taxes and transfers reduce inequality in disposable income relative to market income. The effect varies, however, across OECD countries. The redistributive impact of taxes and transfers depends on the size, mix and the progressivity of each component. Some countries with a relatively small tax and welfare system (e.g. Australia) achieve the same redistributive impact as countries characterised by much higher taxes and transfers (e.g. Germany) because they rely more on income taxes, which are more progressive than other taxes, and on means-tested cash transfers. This article provides an assessment of the redistributive effect of the main taxes and cash transfers, based on various OECD data sources, a set of policy indicators and a literature review. Using cluster analysis, it also identifies empirically four groups of countries with tax and transfer systems that share broadly similar features.

Indonesia.s infrastructure is in poor shape, having suffered from protracted under-investment since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, and constraints growth potential. This paper focuses on the current state of the regulatory framework and discusses different options for improvement in order to attract needed private investment. It recognises the ambitious reforms undertaken by the government thus far, but suggests that further efforts are needed. The authorities should establish a simple regulatory environment based on effective regulatory agencies resulting in lower regulatory uncertainty and realign prices to cost-recovery levels. This Working Paper relates to the 2010 OECD Economic Review of Indonesia (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/Indonesia).

Slovakia’s population is ageing rapidly, with the share of the working-age population expected to shrink by about a fifth in the next 30 years. Ageing-related costs are projected to increase much more strongly than in other EU countries and ageing will put pressure on potential growth and living standards. To prepare for an ageing society, pension, health and long-term care, as well as labour market reforms are needed to extend working lives, improve the health of the ageing population, and enhance the efficiency of public spending. Linking the retirement age to life expectancy and tightening early retirement pathways notably for mothers and disability pensioners is important to extend working lives and improve pension sustainability. Health outcome are lagging behind other OECD countries largely due to high preventable mortality, especially among disadvantaged groups, highlighting the importance of a national strategy to reduce preventable mortality, as well as targeted approaches. Measures are also needed to improve the efficiency of health and long-term care spending, notably through reforming the network of hospitals, expanding central procurement of pharmaceuticals, and expanding the supply of in-home long-term care services. Higher employment of older workers is hampered by a range of labour market barriers, including fewer training opportunities, higher job strain, and a lack of flexible working arrangements. Labour participation of mothers with young children is also low, reflecting excessively long parental leave, low financial work incentives, and a lack of childcare facilities.

The COVID‑19 crisis has heightened the risk factors generally associated with poor mental health – financial insecurity, unemployment, fear – while protective factors – social connection, employment and educational engagement, access to physical exercise, daily routine, access to health services – fell dramatically. This has led to a significant and unprecedented worsening of population mental health. Across countries, the mental health of unemployed people and those experiencing financial insecurity was worse than that of the general population – a trend that pre‑dates the pandemic, but seems to have accelerated in some cases. OECD countries have responded with decisive efforts to scale‑up mental health services, and put into place measures to protect jobs and incomes, thereby reducing mental distress for some. However, the scale of mental distress since the start of the pandemic requires more integrated, whole‑of-society mental health support if it is not to lead to permanent scarring.

Spanish, French

Many of Taiwan's highly export-oriented enterprises are small and medium-sized, and many are in a relatively good position to cope with, even to take advantage of, globalisation. Because they generally do not have strong in-house R&D, and often do not have their own global marketing channels and internationally recognised brand names, however, many also see globalisation as a serious threat.

To cope with the challenges of globalisation, Taiwanese firms are adopting various strategies to strengthen their technological capabilities; these strategies include joint R&D efforts in Taiwan, and technology alliances with foreign partners. Faced with challenges at home — including labour shortages, major appreciation of the NT dollar and an environmental protection movement — as well as the pressures of globalisation, many firms are also striving to internationalise their operations, both in Asia and outside the region (especially in North America, more recently in Europe). Direct overseas ...

  1. This report provides an overview of the limited empirical and theoretical research on take-up of welfare benefits, i.e. the extent to which people eligible for various types of benefits actually receive them. Focus is mainly on entitlement programmes, where take-up reflects both decisions of eligible individuals to apply for benefits and the accuracy of administrative decisions as to whether these individuals should get the benefit in question or not. Estimates of the extent of take-up of welfare benefits are based on a variety of approaches, and typically combine both administrative and survey data. Despite these methodological differences, and the very few OECD countries for which estimates are available, the evidence reviewed in this paper suggests that low take-up of welfare benefits occurs both across countries and programmes. Estimates typically span a range of between 40% and 80% in the case of social assistance and housing programmes, and between 60% and 80% for ...
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