The gap between rich and poor keeps widening. Growth, if any, has disproportionally benefited higher income groups while lower income households have been left behind. This long-run increase in income inequality not only raises social and political concerns, but also economic ones. It tends to drag down GDP growth, due to the rising distance of the lower 40% from the rest of society. Lower income people have been prevented from realising their human capital potential, which is bad for the economy as a whole. This book highlights the key areas where inequalities are created and where new policies are required, including: the consequences of current consolidation policies; structural labour market changes with rising non-standard work and job polarization; persisting gender gaps; the challenge of high wealth concentration, and the role for redistribution policies.
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This country note provides information on latest trends in income inequalities as well as key findings from the 2015 OECD report "In it Together: Why less inequality benefits all".
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.
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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.
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.
Structural reforms and income distribution
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Sweden’s level of income inequality is low by international standards but has steadily increased since the mid-1980s, faster than in any other OECD country. Reversing the increase in inequality requires a policy package built on three pillars.
The world has made good progress in improving global livelihoods. More than two billion people have emerged from extreme poverty over the last four decades. Other notable improvements include real increases in wages for unskilled workers, better life expectancy, greater gender equality and more widespread literacy. However, a number of daunting challenges threaten to undo this progress, particularly on the demographic and environmental fronts. While outlining the status of livelihoods today, this fascinating report enumerates the main emerging trends which will have a significant impact on livelihoods in the near future. It looks at a whole range of issues: economy, technology, demography, environment, security and governance. This book presents five possible future scenarios for livelihoods, whose positive or negative outcomes depend on how several emerging challenges are dealt with. It concludes with ideas for global, national and local action that hold significant promise for securing resilient livelihoods for all.
This report provides a detailed diagnosis of the youth labour market in Tunisia, including a focus on vocational education and training and entrepreneurship, and within the context of Tunisia's transition to a green economy. The report takes an international comparative perspective, offering policy options to help improve school-to-work transitions. It also provides an opportunity for other countries to learn from the innovative measures that Tunisia has taken to strengthen the skills of youth and their employment outcomes.