Retraining can enable ageing Slovenians to keep pace with new technologies

by Rory O’Farrell, Slovenia Desk, OECD Economics Department While workers in many OECD countries are worried whether robots will take their jobs, the inhabitants of the Slovenian town of Kočevje are less concerned. In 2016 Japanese robotics firm, Yaskawa, announced plans to produce robots in Kočevje, which could create up to 200 jobs. This is … More Retraining can enable ageing Slovenians to keep pace with new technologies

Mitigating the negative economic impact of Brexit

by Rafal Kierzendowski, Mark Baker, Pierre Beynet and Gabor Fulop, UK Desk, OECD Economics Department Ahead of the referendum on Brexit, the OECD was anticipating a significant decrease in economic growth if the decision to leave the EU were taken (Kierzenkowski et al., 2016). As the UK economy has started to slow down, OECD projections … More Mitigating the negative economic impact of Brexit

Statistical Insights: What does household debt say about financial resilience?

  by Isabelle Ynesta, Financial Statistics Statistician and Matthew De Queljoe, Statistician, OECD Statistics Directorate Household debt levels increased rapidly in many economies in the run-up to the 2007-2008 financial crisis, fuelled in part by easy credit and rising property prices. Ratios of debt to annual income – used by lenders to determine households’ repayment capacity … More Statistical Insights: What does household debt say about financial resilience?

Improving life in France’s poor neighbourhoods

by Nicola Brandt, France Desk, Country Studies Branch, OECD Economics Department While overall poverty is relatively low in France, it can be highly concentrated at the neighbourhood level. In some cases the income of up to 40% of households in such neighbourhoods falls short of the relative poverty line. Unemployment is high, many children struggle … More Improving life in France’s poor neighbourhoods

Italy’s justice system has quite a long road ahead but already scores better – The Italian View

by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance – Pier Carlo Padoan, Italy’s Minister of Finance, was OECD Deputy Secretary-General and Chief Economist from 2009-2014). Italy’s justice system is gaining greater efficiency, thus gradually closing its paradoxical gap. On the one hand, the clearance rate (measured as the ratio of the number of resolved cases … More Italy’s justice system has quite a long road ahead but already scores better – The Italian View

Boosting economic opportunities and wellbeing in Latvia: why housing matters

by Andrés Fuentes Hutfilter, Germany-Latvia Desk, OECD Economics Department Unemployment is still above 8% in Latvia and contributes to poverty, in part because many unemployed have been without a job for an extended period of time. High unemployment and poverty are concentrated in some regions (Figure 1). Housing policies shape residential mobility and can encourage … More Boosting economic opportunities and wellbeing in Latvia: why housing matters

How to make Belgian firms more productive

by Manav Frohde, Economist, OECD Economics Department A combination of market-based policies and a redistributive welfare state have helped Belgium achieved among the highest living standards in the OECD. While the economy remains highly productive, productivity growth has slowed  over the past two decades (Figure 1 & 2). Reinvigorating productivity growth will be necessary to … More How to make Belgian firms more productive

Economic research on international capital flows: where do we stand 10 years after the Global Financial Crisis started?

Stéphanie Guichard, our guest author, is a former Economic Counsellor to Catherine L. Mann, OECD Chief Economist. Financial globalisation has given international capital flows a central role in the functioning of the global economy, leading to considerable economic research over the past 30 years. Making the most of these capital flows has always been a … More Economic research on international capital flows: where do we stand 10 years after the Global Financial Crisis started?

The Italian banking system at a turning point – The Italian View

by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, Pier Carlo Padoan, Italy’s Minister of finance, was OECD Deputy Secretary-General and Chief Economist from 2009-2014). The Italian banking system has long since been waiting for a comprehensive reform addressing structural inefficiencies and structural rigidities. As of 2014, the Government has defined a comprehensive reform plan while also tackling … More The Italian banking system at a turning point – The Italian View

The middle-income plateau: trap or springboard?

Rauf Gönenç and Vincent Koen, OECD Economics Department The overall slowdown and mixed growth performance of emerging market economies in the past 15 years (see chart) has revived angst about a so-called “middle-income trap”. While countries with lower incomes often do grow faster so as to close some of the gap with high income countries, they … More The middle-income plateau: trap or springboard?