When it comes to global wealth inequality, we know how bad it’s getting, but what do we know about who is responsible? When Oxfam reports that 1% of the world population owns more than the other 99% put together, the question arises: who or what is making the rich so much richer, and the poor so much poorer?
Latvia has undergone major economic and social change since the early 1990s. Despite an exceptionally deep recession following the global financial crisis, impressive economic growth over the past two decades has narrowed income and productivity gaps relative to comparator countries in the OECD. But Latvians report low degrees of life satisfaction, very large numbers of Latvians have left the country, and growth has not been inclusive. A volatile economy and very large income disparities create pressing needs for more effective social and labour-market policies. The government’s reform programme rightly acknowledges inequality as a key challenge. However, without sustained policy efforts and adequate resources, there is a risk that productivity and income growth could remain below potential and social cohesion could be further weakened by high or rising inequality.
Mayors from cities across the United States, Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America gathered in New York to launch a global campaign to address rising inequalities and foster inclusive growth in their cities, in their countries and worldwide.
OECD countries have agreed to work towards greater gender equality in public life – including in governments, parliaments and judiciaries – with concrete measures to improve women’s access to leadership and decision-making roles and integrate more of a gender perspective into public policies.
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All OECD countries, except the United States, provide nationwide paid maternity leave. Over half also offer paternity leave to fathers right after childbirth. By enabling fathers to take on a greater share of the childcare burden, parental leave can support women’s careers.
Measuring and Assessing Well-being in Israel provides a description of the level, distribution, and sustainability of well-being in Israel. Drawing on the methodology developed in the bi-annual report on well-being in OECD countries – How's Life? – this report extends the methodology to provide in an-depth examination of well-being in a single OECD country. The report examines well-being in Israel in the context of the Israeli government's recent initiative to develop indicators of well-being, resilience, and sustainability, and provides a complementary account of well-being in Israel with a stronger focus on international comparisons.
Going beyond a simple statistical description of the level and distribution of well-being in Israel, the report also uses Israel as a case study of how well-being measures can be used to identify areas of high policy relevance. In particular, the report analyses the preferences of Israeli citizens across the different dimensions of the OECD well-being framework. Finally, the report reviews the Israeli statistical system from the perspective of measuring well-being, and notes the key areas where further statistical development is desirable.
Measuring and Assessing Well-being in Israel is part of the OECD Better Life Initiative, which features a series of publications on measuring well-being, as well as the Better Life Index, an interactive website that aims to involve citizens in the debate about what a better life means to them.
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.
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.
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.