At the Happiness Research Institute, we believe that the ultimate goal of public policies should be to improve quality of life. Similarly, we work with measures that complement the conventional ways of measuring progress in society–in terms of growth and GDP per capita. Obviously, human well-being is more than wealth.
It is hardly surprising that rising inequality has translated into growing political disaffection, anti-market sentiment and disenchantment with globalisation. In such a context, we desperately need to take action to promote inclusive growth and restore public confidence in the power of policymakers to improve people’s lives.
We are faced with a paradox: never before in the course of human history have we enjoyed better standards of living, working and health as we do in this present period of globalisation–and still many people turn against globalisation. Why?
The present report on Japan is the seventh report in the Investing in Youth series. In three statistical chapters, the report provides an overview of the labour market situation of young people in Japan, presents a portrait of young people who are not in employment, education or training (the NEETs) and analyses the income situation of young people in Japan. Two policy chapters provide recommendations on how Japan can improve the school-to-work transition of disadvantaged young people, and on how employment, social and training programmes can help the NEETs find their way back into education or work.
Earlier reviews in the same series have looked at youth policies in Brazil (2014), Latvia and Tunisia (2015), Australia, Lithuania and Sweden (2016).
English, PDF, 3,369kb
Recent debates of Basic Income proposals shine a useful spotlight on the challenges that traditional forms of income support are increasingly facing, and highlight gaps in social provisions that largely depend on income or employment status. Reforms towards more universal income support would need to be introduced in stages, requiring a parallel debate on how to finance a more equal sharing of the benefits of economic growth.
Our ability to live longer, healthier and more productive lives is one of our greatest accomplishments. Here in the US, demographers predict that more than half the children born today will live to at least 100. And, according to some, the first person to live to the age of 150 has already been born.
Finland has taken the decision to test a basic income for unemployed job seekers from the beginning of 2017. The trial will run for two years. The main goal behind the experiment is to see if the mechanism of a basic income (unconditional financial support paid regularly to customers) will increase the incentive for recipients to take up and stay in employment.
Over the past ten years economic growth in Asia has contributed to a reduction of poverty as well as fertility rates, and greater prosperity has contributed to gains in life expectancy. However, at present many workers still work in informal employment, frequently for long hours at little pay and without social protection coverage. A growing demand for social support, extending the coverage of social protection benefits and improving the job quality of workers will be among Asia’s major challenges in future. This report considers these challenges, providing policy examples from countries to illustrate good practice, including Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore and Viet Nam.
People of my generation grew up with a set of intuitive assumptions about human progress: hatred and prejudice would give way to reason, democracy would displace authoritarianism, and the economic good times would roll and roll.
Recent years have seen a remarkable backlash against globalisation. The costs of increased openness and connectivity – including the consequences of trade and investment liberalisation – are weighted as never before against the benefits, with many voices advocating a slowdown or even a reversal of the global integration that has characterised the past three decades. While there are many economic, social and political reasons for this backlash, there is sufficient evidence showing that globalisation is leaving many people behind, particularly in the lower half of the income distribution, and especially in advanced countries. This backlash suggests that we need to act quickly to fix globalisation and make sure that its benefits are more equally shared. The consequences of a potential reversal of global integration could be dramatic: increased protectionism resulting in a net loss of wealth and opportunities and dangerous inward-looking policies that would put at risk many of the benefits achieved in the past decades.