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While Austria’s education system has long equipped the Austrian labour force with good vocational skills, it now faces major challenges to provide youth with new, higher and more generic skills.
Significant fiscal consolidation will be needed after the recession. The authorities should improve the spending and tax structure, efficiency of public spending and continue with fiscal federalism reforms
Stimulating competition, innovation and investment in services and fostering the employment of low-skilled workers would help increase potential output and social cohesion.
Slovenia achieved strong economic growth leading to a marked catch up with the EU15 during the last decade. This dynamic growth has been interrupted by the global recession, adversely affecting Slovenian exports and banks’ refinancing possibilities. As the economy recovers, efforts to achieve real convergence need to be renewed.
Though labour market outcomes have improved markedly in past years, some challenges remain such as low labour force participation of the elderly, low employment rates of youth and rising labour market dualism.
Slovenia belongs to the group of new EU member countries, which have given a high priority to fiscal prudence. This both stabilised the economy and paved the way for entry to the EU in 2004 and adoption of the euro in 2007. It also created room to counteract the current weakening of the economy. But fiscal policy has to cope with four main challenges: i) ensuring a return to fiscal consolidation after the current economic downturn;
Slovenia’s product market regulation appears more stringent than in some neighbouring countries, though less restrictive than in some transition economies. In key service sectors (financial services, energy and telecommunication), low contestability linked to state involvement and strong market concentration may have deterred inward FDI.
The United Kingdom is in a deep recession. The recovery is likely to be slow and depends on further improving conditions in credit markets. Financial market regulation and supervision should be overhauled, and policies should be put in place to promote fiscal consolidation.
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To address the current issues, this chapter starts by looking at simple ways of estimating the possible impact of recent increases in real energy and capital costs on potential growth.
The aim of the recent healthcare reform was to increase the sustainability of healthcare finances, by reducing its negative impact on employment and increasing cost-effectiveness via enhanced competition, as discussed in this working paper.