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Income inequality and relative poverty in the United States are among the highest in the OECD and have substantially increased over the past decades. These developments have been associated with a number of other worrying statistics, including low intergenerational social mobility and weak real income growth for many households.
Intergovernmental fiscal frameworks usually reflect fundamental societal choices and history and are not foremost geared towards achieving economic policy objectives. Yet, like most institutional arrangements, fiscal relations affect the behaviour of firms, households and governments and thereby economic activity.
The global economy is moving forward, but divergence between countries and regions reflects the uneven progress made toward recovery from the economic crisis, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook. Historically high unemployment remains the most serious challenge facing governments.
With gross government debt surpassing 200% of GDP, Japan’s fiscal situation is in uncharted territory. In addition to robust nominal GDP growth, correcting two decades of budget deficits requires a large and sustained fiscal consolidation based on a detailed and credible multi-year plan that includes measures to control spending and raise revenue.
Investment in knowledge-based capital (KBC) – assets that lack physical embodiment, such as computerised information, innovative property and economic competencies – has been rising significantly. This has implications for innovation and productivity growth and requires new thinking on policy.
Technological advances, less costly shipping and trade liberalisation have transformed the way in which companies make products and distribute them worldwide. Governments that become more open to trade and investment, and encourage innovation will help firms better integrate the global value chains that are driving growth in increasingly interconnected economies, according to new OECD research.
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Innovation-based growth, underpinned by investments in a broad range of knowledge-based capital (KBC), is central to raising long-term living standards.
Recent OECD research has utilised harmonised cross-country firm level data to explore the contribution of public policies to cross-country differences in productivity, innovation and resource allocation.
This paper uses panel regression techniques to assess the policy determinants of private sector innovative Activity – proxied by R&D expenditure and the number of new patents – across 19 OECD countries. The relationship between innovation indicators and multifactor productivity (MFP) growth is also examined with a particular focus on the role of public policies in influencing the returns to new knowledge.
Provisional estimates show that quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD area fell by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012, after a 0.3% increase in the previous quarter. This is the first contraction of GDP in the OECD area since the very sharp decline in the first quarter of 2009 (minus 2.3%).