Recent fires in Fort McMurray draw attention to a town that has been a prime destination for internal mobility in Canada over the past decades. This post discusses the role that geographical internal mobility can play in improving the matching of skill demand and skill supply in a national labour market, while also noting some of the barriers to labour mobility and potential economic and social costs.
This review is the first in a new series on the skills and labour market integration of immigrants and their children. With 16% of its population born abroad, Sweden has one of the larger immigrant populations among the European OECD countries. Estimates suggest that about half of the foreign-born population originally came to Sweden as refugees or as the family of refugees and Sweden has been the OECD country that has had by far the largest inflows of asylum seekers relative to its population. In all OECD countries, humanitarian migrants and their families face greater challenges to integrate into the labour market than other groups. It is thus not surprising that immigrant versus native-born differences are larger than elsewhere, which also must be seen in the context of high skills and labour market participation among the native-born. For both genders, employment disparities are particularly pronounced among the low-educated, among whom immigrants are heavily overrepresented. These immigrants face particular challenges related to the paucity of low-skilled jobs in Sweden, and policy needs to acknowledge that their integration pathway tends to be a long one. Against this backdrop, Sweden has highly developed and longstanding integration policies that mainly aim at upskilling immigrants while temporarily lowering the cost of hiring, while other tools that work more strongly with the social partners and the civil society are less well developed and need strengthening.
Analysis relying on a new OECD measure of the routine intensity of occupations shows the extent to which countries differ in the share of employment accounted for by routine jobs. It finds that while technological innovation is always associated with higher employment, ICTs correlates positively with employment in all occupations but not in high-routine jobs. Finally, offshoring need not hurt routine-intensive workers.
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In the past 30 years Korea has gone from having a limited medical infrastructure, fragmented financing and limited population coverage, to a health care system characterised by universal coverage, one of the highest life expectancies in the world while still having one of the lowest levels of health expenditure among OECD countries.
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Israel has built a universal health system at relatively low-cost. Health spending was 7.5% of GDP in 2013, below the OECD average of 8.9% although the health spending share of GDP has been increasing rapidly, particularly in recent years. Israel has developed a sophisticated programme to monitor quality of primary care.
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Norway has an impressive and comprehensive health system, but it is facing several challenges over the coming years. The shift in the need for care from an ageing population will weigh heavily on the Norwegian health care system, demanding for more skilled health care personnel as well as strengthening of community care.
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Between 2009 and 2013, public spending on health fell by EUR 5.2 billion – representing a 32% drop in real-terms. This reduction clearly represents a shock for the system to adsorb, even though it is clear that there were inefficiencies in the Greek system (for example, inappropriate prescribing, weak primary care, imbalances in the mix of health professionals).
This paper looks at recent trends in pharmaceutical spending across OECD countries. It examines the drivers of recent spending trends, highlighting differences across therapeutic classes, and then looks at emerging challenges for policy makers in the management of pharmaceutical spending.
“Mental health issues exact a high price on individuals, their families, employers and the economy,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, “Policymakers have been too slow to act. Strong political leadership is needed to drive reform and tackle this issue.”
Expenditure by disease data based on national health accounts can provide valuable information for use in policy analysis. In order to move further in this important area, it is necessary both to refine the definitions and approach that is followed, but also to demonstrate that such accounts can be developed in a cost-effective manner under the framework of the System of Health Accounts.