Colombia has made major economic and social advances in recent years. The combination of strong economic growth and policies targeted at the most vulnerable groups improved considerably the living standards of the Colombian population. Today, the country enjoys higher employment and labour force participation rates than the average of OECD countries and unemployment is steadily declining. Nevertheless, despite these positive trends, deep structural problems remain. Labour informality is widespread, the rate of self-employment is high and many employees have non-regular contracts. Income inequality is higher than in any OECD country and redistribution through taxes and benefits is almost negligible. In addition, half a century of internal conflict and violence has displaced a significant part of the population, and many of them are living in extreme poverty. Despite considerable progress, violence continues to be a challenge and also affects trade union members and leaders. The Colombian Government has undertaken important reforms in recent years to address these labour market and social challenges, and the efforts are gradually paying off. However, further progress is needed to enhance the quality of jobs and well-being for all. The main trust of this report is to support the Colombian Government in tackling labour market duality, generate trust between the social partners, develop inclusive and active social policies, and get the most out of international migration.
Kazakhstan’s economy and society have undergone deep transformations since the country declared independence in 1991. Kazakhstan’s growth performance since 2000 has been impressive, averaging almost 8% per annum in real terms and leading to job creation and progress in the well-being of its citizens. Extractive industries play an important role in the dynamism of the economy, but sources of growth beyond natural resource sectors remain underexploited. In the social arena, dimensions of well-being beyond incomes and jobs have not kept pace with economic growth.
Kazakhstan has set itself the goal of becoming one of the 30 most developed countries in the world by 2050. To sustain rapid, inclusive and sustainable growth and social progress, Kazakhstan will need to overcome a number of significant challenges. Natural-resource dependency, the concentration of economic clout and a fragile and underdeveloped financial sector limit diversification and economic dynamism. Widespread corruption still affects multiple state functions, undermines the business environment, meritocracy and entrepreneurial spirit. More generally, the state has limited capacity to fulfil some of its functions, which affects the delivery of public services like health and education, as well as the protection of the environment and the generation of skills.
Ageing has a wide range of impacts on individuals and society as a whole. But the consequences for health care, working life, income and well-being in general are not always what many people imagine. OECD Insights: Ageing: Debate the Issues discusses the problems, challenges, and opportunities that ageing brings to citizens and governments in developed and developing countries. Experts on demography, medical research, pensions, employment and other domains from inside and outside the OECD present their latest analyses and views on one of the most important trends shaping our societies.
How school systems respond to immigration has an enormous impact on the economic and social well-being of all members of the communities they serve, whether they have an immigrant background or not. Immigrant Students at School: Easing the Journey towards Integration reveals some of the difficulties immigrant students encounter – and some of the contributions they offer – as they settle into their new communities and new schools.
Results from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) indicate that students with an immigrant background tend to perform worse in school than students without an immigrant background. Several factors are associated with this disparity, including the concentration of disadvantage in the schools immigrant students attend, language barriers and certain school policies, like grade repetition and tracking, that can hinder immigrant students’ progress through school.
But successful integration is measured in more than academic achievement; immigrant students’ well-being and hopes for the future are just as telling. This report examines not only immigrant students’ aspirations and sense of belonging at school, but also recent trends in Europeans’ receptiveness to welcoming immigrants into their own countries – the context that could make all the difference in how well immigrant students integrate into their new communities. The report includes a special section on refugees and education, and an extensive discussion on education policy responses to immigration.
Job displacement (involuntary job loss due to firm closure or downsizing) affects many workers over their lifetime. Displaced workers may face long periods of unemployment and, even when they find new jobs, tend to be paid less and have fewer benefits than in their prior jobs. Helping them get back into good jobs quickly should be a key goal of labour market policy. This report is the fourth in a series of reports looking at how this challenge is being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It shows that Sweden has been relatively successful in minimising the adverse effects of displaced workers, manily due to the longstanding tradition of collaboration between the social partners to share responsibility for restructuring by creating special arrangements and practices that provide help to workers much faster that in other OECD countries. Despite this positive institutional framework, there is room to improve policies targeted to displaced workers as remarkable inequalities still exist in both the Swedish labour market and in the way workers are treated.
Social impact investment can provide new ways to more efficiently and effectively allocate public and private capital to address social and economic challenges at the global, national and local levels. While these innovative market-based approaches will not replace the core role of the public sector or the need for philanthropy, they can provide a potentially powerful means for leveraging existing capital.
This report provides a framework for assessing the social impact investment market and focuses on the need to build the evidence base, in particular for impact assessment compared to existing social service delivery models. The report highlights the importance of further international collaboration in developing global standards on definitions, data collection, impact measurement and evaluation of policies as well as experience sharing between players in the market. International organisations can play an important role in facilitating these collaborations as well as conducting further analysis and data collection.
Income inequality is rising. A quarter of a century ago, the average disposable income of the richest 10% in OECD countries was around seven times higher than that of the poorest 10%; today, it’s around 9½ times higher. Why does this matter? Many fear this widening gap is hurting individuals, societies and even economies. This book explores income inequality across five main headings. It starts by explaining some key terms in the inequality debate. It then examines recent trends and explains why income inequality varies between countries. Next it looks at why income gaps are growing and, in particular, at the rise of the 1%. It then looks at the consequences, including research that suggests widening inequality could hurt economic growth. Finally, it examines policies for addressing inequality and making economies more inclusive.
The recent mental health reform is an important step towards better services for people with mental ill-health, but Australia needs to do more to help people with mild to moderate mental health issues at and into work, according to a new OECD report.
The report provides a comprehensive picture on the territorial differences in many well-being dimensions across the 31 Mexican states and the Federal District. It represents a sound base for state and local policy makers, political leaders and citizens to better understand people’s living conditions, gauge progress in various aspects of economy and society and use these indicators to improve the design and implementation of policies. It is a part of the “How’s Life in Your Region?” work produced by the OECD Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate at the behest of the Regional Development Policy Committee.
Les boissons alcoolisées, et leur consommation nocive, sont depuis toujours un trait commun des sociétés humaines. L’alcool est l’une des premières causes de morbidité et de mortalité prématurée dans le monde. Il est en effet à l’origine d’un décès sur 17, et d’une proportion importante de handicaps, surtout chez les hommes. Dans les pays de l’OCDE, la consommation d’alcool est près de deux fois supérieure à la moyenne mondiale. Son coût social est estimé à plus de 1 % du PIB dans les pays à revenu élevé et intermédiaire. Quand elle n’est pas liée à une dépendance, la consommation d’alcool est un choix individuel, déterminé par des normes sociales et associé de fortes connotations culturelles. Cela se traduit par des schémas uniques de disparités sociales face à la consommation d’alcool, les plus aisés étant dans certains cas plus enclins à boire dangereusement, et par une polarisation des problèmes de consommation excessive aux deux extrémités du spectre social. Certaines habitudes de consommation d’alcool ont un impact social, ce qui justifie amplement sur le plan économique le fait que les pouvoirs publics cherchent à influencer les comportements en prenant des mesures axées sur la réduction des préjudices, y compris ceux subis par les personnes autres que les consommateurs. Certaines stratégies sont plus efficaces et judicieuses que d’autres, selon qu’elles parviennent à faire évoluer les normes sociales et à cibler les groupes les plus vulnérables. La présente publication examine dans le détail les tendances et les disparités sociales liées à la consommation d’alcool. Elle présente en outre une vaste analyse des effets sanitaires, sociaux et économiques des principales politiques de lutte contre les méfaits de l’alcool dans trois pays de l’OCDE (Allemagne, Canada et République tchèque), et dégage des messages pertinents pour l’action des pouvoirs publics dans un plus grand nombre de pays.