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OECD Reviews of Labour Market and Social Policies: Costa Rica

image of OECD Reviews of Labour Market and Social Policies: Costa Rica

Costa Rica has recorded many social and economic achievements and currently enjoys one of the highest levels of well-being in the OECD. But progress has come to a standstill in most recent years and challenges have emerged along several social and labour market dimensions. Existing policies are outdated and no longer effective in today’s dynamic, export oriented economy which requires greater flexibility and more high skilled workers. How can Costa Rica better respond to the challenges of technological change and globalisation whilst minimising the transition costs it endures as it moves to a higher and a more sustainable path to inclusive growth? This report provides comprehensive analysis of Costa Rica’s policies and practices compared with best practice in the field of labour, social and migration from across the OECD and other countries in the Latin American region.  It contains several recommendations to tackle key challenges facing Costa Rica, including low labour utilisation, increasing inequality, high poverty and high-risk of economic exclusion especially of the low skilled and migrants.  This report will be of interest in Costa Rica as well as other countries looking to promote a more dynamic and an inclusive economy.

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Assessment and recommendations

Costa Rica is an upper middle-income country in Central America with a population of approximately 4.8 million and a GDP per capita of USD PPP 15 337 (2015). Compared with neighbouring Central American and other Latin American countries, Costa Rica is well known for its political stability and social progress. The country has no armed forces and the longest uninterrupted period of democratic rule in Latin America since 1948.

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