Key policy responses from the OECD
Facing the jobs crisis
OECD Employment Outlook 2020
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04/08/2020
This brief discusses the existing obstacles in developing international clinical trials that are critical to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides information on relevant adaptations of regulatory requirements for clinical trials, intended to accelerate the processes, and highlights the need to harmonise further these regulations between national regulatory authorities. To this end, this brief describes the existing OECD Recommendation on the Governance of Clinical Trials issued in 2012 and how its implementation could greatly facilitate and streamline the registration and conduct of international clinical trials.
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03/08/2020
Job retention (JR) schemes have been one of the main policy tools used by a number of OECD countries to contain the employment and social fallout of the COVID-19 crisis. By May 2020, JR schemes supported about 50 million jobs across the OECD, about ten times as many as during the global financial crisis of 2008-09. By reducing labour costs, JR schemes have prevented a surge in unemployment, while they have mitigated financial hardship and buttressed aggregate demand by supporting the incomes of workers on reduced working time. However, as the first wave of the health crisis is receding in some OECD countries and government restrictions to economic activities are being withdrawn, JR schemes need to adjust. This requires a better targeting of JR support to jobs that are viable but at risk of being terminated and a greater focus on supporting workers at risk of becoming unemployed, rather than their jobs.
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31/07/2020
The focus of this brief is on the policy responses that governments can and are taking through the channel of inter-governmental relations to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Sub-national governments are playing a crucial role in the current crisis, and past experience suggests they will need sufficient support to ensure they can confront the risks. Co-ordinated action across different levels of government is essential to ensuring that responses to the crisis are effective across all regions within countries
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30/07/2020
Tax administrations around the globe are taking on new responsibilities to support wider government actions to help address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These responsibilities often go beyond the functions normally provided by tax administrations and can present a number of challenges as well as opportunities for the future, including around increased agility and improved whole of government working. This document, produced by the OECD Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) Secretariat in collaboration with the FTA Enterprise Risk Management Community of Interest, sets out some considerations that tax administrations may wish to take into account in addressing aspects of these challenges as well providing a number of examples of assistance provided by different tax administrations.
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30/07/2020
The “social economy” has played an important role in addressing and mitigating the short- and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on economy and society. In the short term, social economy actors have assisted the recovery from the crisis by providing innovative solutions that are aimed at strengthening public services to complement government action. In the long term, social economy organisations can help reshape the post-crisis economy by promoting inclusive and sustainable economic models. Relying on decades of experience, its specific features and underlying principles, the social economy can inspire models of social innovation and a sense of purpose to firms operating in the market economy.
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30/07/2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has presented governments with unprecedented challenges in ensuring not only the health of their citizens but also public service continuity. Governments had to purchase vital health products swiftly whilst ensuring smooth and accountable management of ongoing contracts to continue providing public services to their citizens. Critical infrastructure is also particularly important during the COVID-19 response not only for public health and safety, but for broader community well-being. The pandemic has created a radically new, and constantly changing, purchasing environment. The sudden reduction in economic activity has equally put severe stress on the infrastructure sector. This policy brief examines the immediate infrastructure governance and public procurement policy responses taken by OECD and selected non-OECD countries during the first phase of the crisis. It also highlights which dimensions of these responses need to be revisited in order to strengthen resilience for future emergencies.
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28/07/2020
As part of the digitalisation of the economy, satellite signals and data play an increasingly pivotal role in the efficient functioning of societies and their economic development. The recent growth in the sector has generated unprecedented levels of entrepreneurship and start-up activity. However, with the COVID-19 crisis, this positive trend could be reversed. While many space sector firms seem to be able to cope, a significant number is struggling, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises that constitute the bulk of commercial actors in the space industry. Considering the high costs of entry to the sector, there is a risk that the crisis could lead to more industry concentration, eliminating smaller and younger firms that are key sources of innovation, employment and economic growth. Space agencies and other public administrations therefore need to fully consider vulnerable smaller actors in their overall crisis responses.
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27/07/2020
This policy brief was developed by the Secretariat of the OECD Network of Economic Regulators (NER) and is based on examples of practice submitted by members of the NER. It reviews emergency measures taken by economic regulators during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure continuity of services in network sectors, as well as to adjust regulatory practices and adapt governance arrangements. It identifies long-term questions and implications of the crisis with regard to market structure, infrastructure investment and the role of regulators.
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24/07/2020
The COVID‑19 crisis has resulted in a significant increase in online learning by adults. Much of the training that had started as face-to-face in classroom environments has been pursued online. Furthermore, individuals are being encouraged to use the time freed up by short-time work schemes to take up new training. As such, the crisis provides a powerful test of the potential of learning online. It also highlights its key limitations, including the prerequisite of adequate digital skills, computer equipment and internet access to undertake training online, the difficulty of delivering traditional work-based learning online, and the struggle of teachers used to classroom instruction. This brief discusses the potential of online learning to increase adult learning opportunities and identifies some key issues that the crisis has highlighted. Addressing these issues could contribute to expanding online learning provision in the post-crisis period and to making it more inclusive.
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23/07/2020
This note is an update of the earlier versions released on 27 March and 13 May. It provides analysis on issues related to the economic, social and environmental impacts, lessons learned in terms of digitalisation, mobility, density, urban design and collaborative governance, and action-oriented guidance to build back better cities, building on previous work on urban resilience.
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22/07/2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted construction, made it difficult for many households to pay for shelter, and seriously hurt the housing sector. Governments have responded with a wide array of measures to protect tenants and mortgage-holders, as well as support builders and lenders. This note mobilises web-search data to shed new light on the impact of the crisis on the construction sector. It then takes stock of measures taken by governments and argues that some of the relief could, if not duly phased out as planned, create unintended inefficiencies and notably make housing supply less responsive to changes in demand and the evolving needs of society. The note concludes by building on recent empirical findings that stress the importance of gradually transitioning from immediate rescue measures to policy settings that can support the recovery and the development of efficient, inclusive and sustainable housing markets.
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15/07/2020
This note is developed by the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE). It examines how SMEs are likely to be affected by the current coronavirus epidemic, reports on early evidence and estimates about the impact, and provides a preliminary inventory of country responses to foster SME resilience.
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15/07/2020
The ongoing health and economic crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the required physical distancing measures force many firms to introduce telework (working from home) on a large scale. This may catalyse wider adoption of teleworking practices also after the crisis, with a wide range of impacts and uncertain net effects on productivity and other indicators. Public policies and co-operation among social partners are crucial to ensure that new, efficient and welfare-improving working methods emerging during the crisis are maintained and developed once physical distancing is over. To maximise the gains for productivity and welfare inherent in the use of more widespread telework, governments should promote investments in the physical and managerial capacity of firms and workers to telework and address potential concerns for worker well-being and longer-term innovation related in particular to the excessive downscaling of workspaces.
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10/07/2020
This policy brief investigates how countries responded to immediate shortages of workers during the COVID-19 crisis. It identifies which jobs were in demand using online vacancy data and describes the skills profiles of those jobs. By comparing them with the skills profiles of similar jobs in low demand, it considers the viability of redeploying unemployed adults to jobs where hiring is increasing. The brief shares examples of innovative ways in which countries retrained and redeployed their labour force to meet immediate demand during the health crisis.
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09/07/2020
Cross-border trade in parcels has played a critical role in helping people and firms deal with issues stemming from physical distancing and confinement measures implemented during COVID-19. This note discusses that role and the policies that can help ensure parcel trade can continue to be leveraged to help promote an inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19.
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07/07/2020
The economic upheaval resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has led many governments to enhance their foreign investment screening mechanisms or introduce new ones – in the midst of an already steep drop of global FDI flows. Investment screening was already enjoying a heyday before the COVID-19 crisis – the pandemic is accelerating, rather than triggering this trend. The accumulation of the two waves of new measures may bring about transformational change to investment screening policy practice and to the way governments and societies view the benefits and risks associated with foreign investment.
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07/07/2020
This brief explores the role of digital trade in helping to mitigate some of the consequences of COVID-19. It highlights how trade facilitates access to the goods and services that enable the digital transformation, and underscores the importance of digital trade and related policies in supporting economic activity and wellbeing during the crisis, as well as its role in sustaining economic recovery.
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03/07/2020
The COVID-19 crisis has triggered major disruptions for exchange rates and global capital flows. Cross-border portfolio investment stopped in many emerging markets as well as in some advanced economies in March 2020. Countries have not had to resort to capital controls. To support foreign currency liquidity, several emerging markets have intervened in the foreign exchange market and relaxed rules on capital inflows.
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03/07/2020
The urgency of tackling COVID-19 has led governments in many countries to launch a number of short-notice and fast-tracked initiatives (e.g. calls for research proposals). Without proper co-ordination amongst ministries and agencies, they run the risk of duplicating efforts or missing opportunities, resulting in slower progress and economic inefficiencies.
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03/07/2020
This policy brief derives four key actions that governments and platforms can take to counter COVID-19 disinformation on platforms, namely: 1) supporting a multiplicity of independent fact-checking organisations; 2) ensuring human moderators are in place to complement technological solutions; 3) voluntarily issuing transparency reports about COVID-19 disinformation; and 4) improving users’ media, digital and health literacy skills.
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