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Publications


  • 16-December-2020

    English

    Improving the collection of information on literacy proficiency in household surveys

    In the vast majority of the world’s countries, information on the literacy proficiency of the adult population is collected through census collections, labour force surveys or through omnibus household surveys. These commonly use simple measures: respondents’ reports of their own or other household members’ capacity to read and write or the capacity of the respondent to accurately read aloud a short sentence. While there is a justified interest in the use of assessments to collect information regarding literacy proficiency, household surveys using simple measures will continue to be a primary source of data on literacy in many countries for some time. Improvement of the quality of simple measures should, therefore, be a priority. Three main avenues for improvement are identified: greater clarity regarding the concepts being measured, the development of improved simple direct assessments of literacy proficiency and encouragement for the use of a common set of instruments and questions.
  • 16-December-2020

    English

    Efficiency and risks in global value chains in the context of COVID-19

    The COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting disruptions in supply chains of some manufacturing and medical products have renewed the debate on costs and benefits of globalisation and, particularly, on risks associated with international fragmentation of production in global value chains (GVCs). While GVCs helped addressing supply shortages in several cases already during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the policy debate has concentrated on whether the gains from expanding international specialisation in GVCs are worth the associated risks of transmission of shocks and even whether governments should use policy tools to ‘re-localise’ GVCs. But re-localising may also mean less diversification and thereby limit the scope for cushioning shocks. This paper builds on on-going OECD analysis and aims at providing empirical evidence to inform and guide discussion on these questions. First, it reviews briefly the key issues and lessons learnt from the past, and identifies the main features of world trade and GVC participation that influence exposures to risks in supply chains. Subsequently, it presents key results of a set of economic model simulations conducted using the OECD’s computable general equilibrium (CGE) trade model METRO to shed light on the consequences of a stylised re-localisation policy scenario. In this scenario, countries are less exposed to foreign shocks, but they are also less efficient and less able to cushion shocks through trade. Quantitatively, the latter effect tends to dominate: re-localising GVCs would make the economy in most countries both less efficient and less stable. The economic case for policy-induced reshoring of GVCs is therefore weak. There is nevertheless scope for governments to join efforts with businesses to improve risk preparedness.
  • 16-December-2020

    English

    Energy Efficiency 2020

    Energy Efficiency 2020 is the latest edition of the IEA’s annual update on global developments in energy efficiency. Through analysis of energy data, policies and technology trends, it provides a comprehensive view of energy efficiency trends worldwide. Energy efficiency plays an essential role in accelerating clean energy transitions and achieving global climate and sustainability goals. This year’s report focuses on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on energy efficiency and global energy markets this year, as well as analysis of 2019 trends. By analysing the inclusion and impacts of energy efficiency in stimulus packages, the report also highlights the role of efficiency in supporting sustainable recovery efforts around the world by creating jobs and stimulating spending while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 16-December-2020

    English

    Digital technology adoption, productivity gains in adopting firms and sectoral spill-overs: Firm-level evidence from Estonia

    With a newly constructed firm-level dataset combining various survey- and registry data from Statistics Estonia, this paper sheds new light on the labour productivity premium from adopting digital technologies and boosting digital skill use. The productivity premium is decomposed into a direct effect benefitting the firms actually increasing their digital intensity, and an indirect effect of belonging to a sector with high digital intensity. The firm-level productivity premium of being an adopting firm is consistently positive and sizeable across different digital technologies and measures of skill intensity. The evidence also suggests positive spill-over effects in manufacturing sectors and sectors with a high routine task content and thus a high automation potential.
  • 16-December-2020

    English

    Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on tourism and supporting recovery

    Tourism continues to be one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and, at the time of publishing this report, the outlook remains highly uncertain. OECD expects international tourism to fall by around 80% in 2020. Domestic tourism is helping to soften the blow, and governments have taken impressive immediate action to restore and re-activate the sector, while protecting jobs and businesses. Many countries are also now developing measures to build a more resilient tourism economy post COVID-19. These include preparing plans to support the sustainable recovery of tourism, promoting the digital transition and move to a greener tourism system, and rethinking tourism for the future. This report presents policy measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on tourism and support the recovery, and draws initial lessons from the crisis to build a more sustainable and resilient tourism economy for the future.
  • 16-December-2020

    English

    Career ready? - How schools can better prepare young people for working life in the era of COVID-19

    The focus of this working paper is on how secondary schools can optimise young people’s preparation for adult employment at a time of extreme labour market turbulence. By reviewing academic analysis of national longitudinal datasets, it is possible to identify indicators of comparative adult success. How teenagers (i) think about their futures in work and what they do to (ii) explore and (iii) experience workplaces within and outside of schools is consistently associated with better than expected employment outcomes in adulthood. Data-driven career guidance will take such indicators into account within delivery. Analysis of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 illustrates substantial variation in the extent of such career readiness between and within countries. Variation in career readiness is particularly associated with disadvantage. More effective education systems will ensure schools systematically address inequalities in teenage access to information and support in preparing for working life.
  • 16-December-2020

    English

    Clean Household Energy Consumption in Kazakhstan - A Roadmap

    This study’s primary aim is to explore ways to reduce heating-related residential sector emissions using a scenario analysis approach as the basis of a roadmap for Kazakhstan. The purpose of this roadmap is to help Kazakhstan formulate a policy framework and conditions to enable a household energy-use transition. It is intended to support and guide key government authorities as well as other stakeholders.
  • 16-December-2020

    English

    Blended Finance in the Least Developed Countries 2020 - Supporting a Resilient COVID-19 Recovery

    The least developed countries (LDCs) are the furthest from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are also likely to be hit the hardest by the COVID-19 crisis and badly need the additional private finance that blended finance can unlock. Yet evidence shows that too little private finance is mobilised for investment in LDCs. How can this be fixed? The Blended Finance in the Least Developed Countries 2020 report is the third edition and second joint UNCDF-OECD report. It builds on UNCDF research and transactional experience, OECD data and analysis on private finance mobilized by official development finance, and a series consultations with and contributions by blended finance experts, LDC governments, UN missions, donors, civil society and research institutions. The report provides an update on the deployment of blended finance in LDCs. It also analyses its potential role in helping those countries recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and provides an Action Agenda for unlocking capital for the achievement of the SDGs in LDCs, as called for in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
  • 16-December-2020

    English

    Comparing Road and Rail Investment in Cost-Benefit Analysis

    This paper examines whether the results of cost-benefit analyses (CBA) for road and rail projects can be compared with each other. Road and rail projects address different transport needs and aim to solve different problems. This does not make comparisons between CBAs for each mode impossible, but requires a nuanced approach.
  • 16-December-2020

    English

    The changing characteristics of steel firms - Insights from the new OECD steel database

    Information on the structural characteristics of steel firms over time provides important insights into the dynamics of the steel industry and how this industry has been restructuring and adapting in a rapidly changing environment. This paper builds on data from the new and unique OECD Steel database to shed light on the micro determinants of changes in the steel sector. The OECD Steel database provides invaluable insights into the characteristics of steel plants and steel firms, and how they have evolved in the last 20 years. Results from the analyses in this paper suggest that the steel sector could benefit from increased business dynamism, while data show that economies of scale and technology are important factors influencing adjustment in the sector. The paper concludes by offering several different avenues for future research that could build upon the OECD Steel database.
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