Should we worry about high household and corporate debt?

By Catherine L. Mann,  OECD Chief Economist and Head of the Economics Department, and Filippo Gori, Economist, Macroeconomic Policy Division, OECD Economics Department Household and corporate debt in many advanced and emerging market economies is high in the wake of the financial crisis and following a decade of low global interest rates.  Should we be … More Should we worry about high household and corporate debt?

A Response to Queen Elizabeth’s Question on the Global Financial Crisis

Dave Turner, Head of the Macroeconomic Analysis Division, OECD Economics Department “Why did no one see it coming?” was the disarmingly blunt question asked by Queen Elizabeth in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. A number of economists (some with greater reliance on hindsight than others) claimed that there had been “worrying developments” in finance … More A Response to Queen Elizabeth’s Question on the Global Financial Crisis

Maintaining Switzerland’s enviable living standards into the future

by Christine Lewis, Switzerland Desk, Economics Department Switzerland’s high living standards and quality of life are renowned. It has the third-highest level of GDP per capita in the OECD. Likewise, survey data show Swiss have the OECD’s second-highest rate of life satisfaction. Unemployment is low, including for young people. And income inequality (after taxes and … More Maintaining Switzerland’s enviable living standards into the future

Where to get the best bang for the buck in the United Kingdom? Industrial strategy, investment and lagging regions

by Rafal Kierzenkowski, Head of UK Desk, Peter Gal, Economist, Productivity Workstream, and Gabor Fulop, Analyst at the UK Desk, OECD Economics Department The United Kingdom has large regional disparities in productivity which contribute to differences in living standards across the country, while its less productive regions also hold back overall economic performance (OECD, 2017). High … More Where to get the best bang for the buck in the United Kingdom? Industrial strategy, investment and lagging regions

Reducing inequality to raise incomes and expand well-being for all Colombians

By Christine de La Maisonneuve, Economist on the Colombia desk, Economics Department Growth has become more inclusive in recent years. Living standards have improved and poverty has declined (Figure 1). However, the gap between rich and poor remains among the highest in Latin America. The peace agreement will boost economic growth, but to share it fairly … More Reducing inequality to raise incomes and expand well-being for all Colombians

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 had been 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 … 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