Particle accelerators have evolved over the last decades from simple devices to powerful machines, and are having an increasingly important impact on research, technology and daily life. Today they cover a wide range of applications including material science and medical applications. In recent years, requirements from new technological and research applications have emerged while the number of accelerator facilities in operation, being commissioned, designed or planned has significantly grown. Their parameters (such as the beam energy, beam currents and intensities, and target composition) vary widely, giving rise to new radiation shielding aspects and problems.
Particle accelerators must be operated in safe ways to protect operators, the public and the environment. As the design and use of these facilities evolve, so must the analytical methods used in the safety analyses. These workshop proceedings review the state of the art in radiation shielding of accelerator facilities and irradiation targets. They also evaluate progress on the development of modelling methods used to assess the effectiveness of such shielding as part of safety analyses.
As the world has changed during the past 50 years, so has agriculture. And so has agricultural research, which continues to confront new challenges, from food security to ecological concerns to land use issues. Indeed, as Guy Paillotin, the former president of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) has noted, agricultural research “has reached new heights in biology and is exploring other disciplines. It is forever changing, as are the needs of the society”.
The changing challenges faced by agricultural research were examined in depth at a conference organised by the OECD’s Co-operative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, together with the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Agriculture. Participants came from all agricultural sectors and included farmers, industry, scientists and decision makers, as well as other stake holders.
This publication presents the twenty papers delivered at the conference. They highlight recent major progress in agricultural research outcomes and address the challenges that lie ahead.
Governments around the world are increasingly intervening in automobile markets to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions of CO2 from new vehicles. This report reviews the rationale for such intervention and examines measures for maximum effectiveness and minimum cost.
The Round Table brought together economists, policy makers and auto engineers with the aim of advancing understanding of why car markets currently fail to deliver sufficient fuel economy. It started by questioning whether any additional measures would be necessary once an appropriate price for carbon dioxide is established via fuel taxes. It confirmed that there are indeed market imperfections that merit additional government intervention. Fuel economy and CO2 regulations are an essential part of the package. The key to maximising the benefits of such regulations is long-term planning. The longer the timeframe, the less industry investment is handicapped by uncertainty.
Subsidies to electric vehicles are more problematic because of the risks of prematurely picking winning technologies and creating subsidy dependence. And electricity production has yet to be decarbonised. However, intervention to steer innovation in this direction is merited so long as the risks of not attaining climate policy targets are seen as higher than the risks of intervention.
Promoting a smooth transition from school to work, and ensuring that youth are given the opportunities to move on in their careers and lives, have long been issues of fundamental importance for our economies and societies. Today, they are even more pressing challenges as the global economy emerges from the worst crisis of the past 50 years. Indeed, young people have borne much of the brunt of the recent jobs crisis. The youth unemployment rate is approaching 20% in the OECD area, with nearly 4 million more youth among the unemployed than at the end of 2007.
The initial experience in the labour market has a profound influence on later working life. Getting off to a good start facilitates youth integration into the world of work and lays the foundation for a good career, while it can be difficult to catch up after an initial failure. In particular, the jobs crisis is likely to leave long-lasting “scarring” effects on some of the current generation of school-leavers, particularly if they face multiple disadvantages, such as having low skills and also coming from a disadvantaged background.
Tackling the youth jobs crisis requires a strong commitment from all: the youth themselves, the government through well-targeted and effective policy measures, social partners though their participation in the dialogue, and other key actors – such as teachers, practitioners and parents – who can really make a difference to investing in youth.
This report makes an important contribution to a new agenda of youth-friendly employment policies and practices. It analyses the situation of youth employment and unemployment in the context of the jobs crisis and identifies successful policy measures in OECD countries. But it also discusses structural reforms in education and in the labour market that can facilitate the transition from school to work. The report draws on both recent data and the main lessons that emerged from the 16 country reviews conducted as part of the OECD Jobs for Youth/Des emplois pour les jeunes programme.
The contracting out of government functions and services to external providers is an established practice in many developed and developing countries. On the one hand, it can offer essential support to states that have to deliver basic services urgently; on the other, it risks bypassing governments and undermining their long-term recovery. The OECD’s Partnership for Democratic Governance was formed in 2007 to gather evidence on this issue.
This handbook does not take a view for or against contracting out; nor is it a technical manual. The handbook is for field practitioners and government policy makers in countries that are either emerging from conflict or are otherwise considered to be fragile. Its aim is to help them make more informed choices about the types of contracting that are best suited to their country. It is a tool to assess whether contracting out might be a possible way forward – either temporarily or over a longer period of time – for delivering a core service (such as basic education, healthcare, water and sanitation) or a government function (such as managing public finances and human resources). The handbook illustrates these points with the aid of case studies ranging from Afghanistan to Haiti and Liberia.
As the hubs of economic activity, cities drive the vast majority of the world’s energy use and are major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. Because they are home to major infrastructure and highly concentrated populations, cities are also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels, warmer temperatures and fiercer storms. At the same time, better urban planning and policies can reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and improve the resilience of urban infrastructure to climate change, thus shaping future trends.
This book shows how city and metropolitan regional governments working in tandem with national governments can change the way we think about responding to climate change. The chapters analyse: trends in urbanisation, economic growth, energy use and climate change; the economic benefits of climate action; the role of urban policies in reducing energy demand, improving resilience to climate change and complementing global climate policies; frameworks for multilevel governance of climate change including engagement with relevant stakeholders; and the contribution of cities to “green growth”, including the “greening” of fiscal policies, innovation and jobs. The book also explores policy tools and best practices from both OECD and some non-member countries.
Cities and Climate Change reveals the importance of addressing climate change across all levels of government. Local involvement through “climate-conscious” urban planning and management can help achieve national climate goals and minimise tradeoffs between environmental and economic priorities at local levels. The book will be relevant to policy makers, researchers, and others with an interest in learning more about urbanisation and climate change policy.
Adequate airport capacity is crucial to allowing the global economy to grow. Present regulatory arrangements are not efficient because the airline and airport markets have changed enormously over recent years. There is scope to do much better.
The challenge is to create conditions for efficient infrastructure development in a sector where in some circumstances some airports have market power and might abuse this position. It is important that regulatory intervention only occurs where it is actually needed as it is costly in terms of administrative effort and altering the market. All regulatory controls on the pricing of aviation services carry the risk of getting investment incentives wrong. A number of regulators are beginning to experiment with this key control, with promising results.
This report reviews recent experience with airport regulation on the basis of discussions at the International Transport Forum between leaders of airlines and airports together with regulators and economists. Liberalisation of aviation markets combined with privatisation of most airlines, and now many airports have changed aviation markets rapidly and profoundly. Regulatory models have tended to evolve more slowly and need reform if they are not to become a drag on global growth.
Too many workers leave the labour market permanently due to health problems or disability, and too few people with reduced work capacity manage to remain in employment. This is a social and economic tragedy common to virtually all OECD countries. It also raises an apparent paradox that needs explaining: Why is it that the average health status is improving, yet large numbers of people of working age are leaving the workforce to rely on long-term sickness and disability benefits?
This report, the last in the OECD series Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers, synthesises the project’s findings and explores the possible factors behind the paradox described above. It highlights the roles of institutions and policies and concludes that higher expectations and better incentives for the main actors – workers, employers, doctors, public agencies and service providers – are crucial. Based on a review of good and bad practices across OECD countries, this report suggests a series of major reforms are needed to promote employment of people with health problems.
The report examines a number of critical policy choices between: tightening inflows and raising outflows from disability benefit, and promoting job retention and new hiring of people with health problems. It questions the need for distinguishing unemployment and disability as two distinct contingencies, emphasises the need for a better evidence base, and underlines the challenges for policy implementation.