The OECD/Korea Policy Centre fosters the exchange of technical information and policy experiences relating to the Asia Pacific region in areas such as health statistics, pension reforms and social policy and expenditure.
Latvia has undergone major economic and social change since the early 1990s. Despite an exceptionally deep recession following the global financial crisis, impressive economic growth over the past two decades has narrowed income and productivity gaps relative to comparator countries in the OECD. But Latvians report low degrees of life satisfaction, very large numbers of Latvians have left the country, and growth has not been inclusive. A volatile economy and very large income disparities create pressing needs for more effective social and labour-market policies. The government’s reform programme rightly acknowledges inequality as a key challenge. However, without sustained policy efforts and adequate resources, there is a risk that productivity and income growth could remain below potential and social cohesion could be further weakened by high or rising inequality.
The OECD Centre for Opportunity and Equality is a new platform for promoting and conducting policy-oriented research on the trends, causes and consequences of inequalities in society and the economy, and a forum to discuss how policies can best address such inequalities.
This report provides a detailed diagnosis of the youth labour market and education system in Latvia from an international comparative perspective, and offers tailored recommendations to help improve school-to-work transitions. It also provides an opportunity for other countries to learn from the innovative measures that Latvia has taken to strengthen the skills of youth and their employment outcomes, notably through the implementation of a Youth Guarantee.
All OECD countries have vulnerable populations in need of multiple service supports. And although the needs of vulnerable families, children and youth with mental health issues, the homeless, and the frail elderly can vary widely, the challenges government face when delivering multiple social supports to these groups are often similar. This book looks at the ways in which governments design and deliver integrated social services to vulnerable groups and the opportunities and challenges this brings. For each vulnerable group, the book addresses questions like: How are social services being integrated? How are vulnerable groups defined in different countries and how do populations compare? Why integrate service for vulnerable groups? It highlights pathways towards successful integration practices, and summarizes the evidence on good practice and promising common practices from across all of the vulnerable groups.
The gap between rich and poor keeps widening. Growth, if any, has disproportionally benefited higher income groups while lower income households have been left behind. This long-run increase in income inequality not only raises social and political concerns, but also economic ones. It tends to drag down GDP growth, due to the rising distance of the lower 40% from the rest of society. Lower income people have been prevented from realising their human capital potential, which is bad for the economy as a whole. This book highlights the key areas where inequalities are created and where new policies are required, including: the consequences of current consolidation policies; structural labour market changes with rising non-standard work and job polarization; persisting gender gaps; the challenge of high wealth concentration, and the role for redistribution policies.
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This country note provides information on latest trends in income inequalities as well as key findings from the 2015 OECD report "In it Together: Why less inequality benefits all".
English, PDF, 405kb
Three out of four OECD countries use minimum wages, and supporting low-wage earners is widely seen as important for promoting inclusive growth. This policy brief considers three aspects that are central for a balanced assessment of policy choices: The cost of employing minimum-wage workers, their take-home pay, and the number of workers affected.
Taxes on wages have risen by about 1 percentage point for the average worker in OECD countries between 2010 and 2014 even though the majority of governments did not increase statutory income tax rates, according to a new OECD report.
This paper presents an overview of the situation of youth in OECD countries since the financial crisis, describing the characteristics and living conditions of young NEETs. It provides data on income-support policies for young people, and summarises available evidence on the impact of interventions that aim at improving the social, education and employment situation of the most disadvantaged youth.