Alcoholic beverages, and their harmful use, have been familiar fixtures in human societies since the beginning of recorded history. Worldwide, alcohol is a leading cause of ill health and premature mortality. It accounts for 1 in 17 deaths, and for a significant proportion of disabilities, especially in men. In OECD countries, alcohol consumption is about twice the world average. Its social costs are estimated in excess of 1% of GDP in high- and middle-income countries. When it is not the result of addiction, alcohol use is an individual choice, driven by social norms, with strong cultural connotations. This is reflected in unique patterns of social disparity in drinking, showing the well-to-do in some cases more prone to hazardous use of alcohol, and a polarisation of problem-drinking at the two ends of the social spectrum. Certain patterns of drinking have social impacts, which provide a strong economic rationale for governments to influence the use of alcohol through policies aimed at curbing harms, including those occurring to people other than drinkers. Some policy approaches are more effective and efficient than others, depending on their ability to trigger changes in social norms, and on how well they can target the groups that are most at risk. This book provides a detailed examination of trends and social disparities in alcohol consumption. It offers a wide-ranging assessment of the health, social and economic impacts of key policy options for tackling alcohol-related harms in three OECD countries (Canada, the Czech Republic and Germany), extracting relevant policy messages for a broader set of countries.
The recent riots in Baltimore following the death of Freddy Gray bring a tragic focus, once again, on inequality. Maryland’s largest city, Baltimore is a perfect laboratory to study it, thanks in part to the superb comparative statistics the city keeps. OECD Insights Blog.
English, PDF, 371kb
In November 2014, the G20 Leaders committed to reduce the gender labour force participation gap by 25% by 2025, as a collective commitment at G20 level. As an input to that decision, the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers issued a Declaration which included this issue and set forth 11 policy areas for potential action. This note proposes options and approaches for tracking the Leaders’ commitment to reduce the gender gap.
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.
Blog: Anecdotal evidence suggests there are loads of grumpy old men and women around. A new, evidence-based report from the OECD offers some clues as to why this should be.
The world is still repairing the damage done to employment prospects and social equality by the crisis. Governments are trying to create not just more jobs, but better jobs. A new OECD framework helps them to define what job quality means and to measure whether their policies are succeeding.
This book examines trends in ageing societies and urban development before assessing the impact of ageing populations on urban areas and strategies for policy and governance. It includes nine case studies covering Toyama, Japan; Yokohama, Japan; Lisbon, Portugal; Calgary, Canada; Cologne, Germany; Brno, Czech Republic; Manchester, United Kingdom; Philadelphia, United States and Helsinki, Finland.
Experts and policy makers gathered today at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to discuss the future of pensions in Latin America and the Caribbean. A panel discussion moderated by CNN journalist Gabriela Frias explored different policy approaches to ensure greater coverage and sustainability of pension systems in the region.
In his speech delivered at the Brookings Institute, OECD Secretary-General Gurría explains that OECD’s numbers tell a clear-cut story of how our traditional economic growth agenda has neglected inclusiveness. Yet to begin to tackle this problem, we have to understand that inequality is not just about money. It touches every area of people’s lives.
It is a great pleasure to open this sixth Annual Conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), under the very provocative title of “Liberté, égalité, fragilité”.