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Reports


  • 22-December-2020

    English

    How reliable are social safety nets? - Value and accessibility in situations of acute economic need

    Social protection systems use a range of entitlement criteria. First-tier support typically requires contributions or past employment in many countries, while safety net benefits are granted on the basis of need. In a context of volatile and uncertain labour markets, careful and continuous monitoring of the effectiveness of income support is a key input into an evidence-based policy process. This paper proposes a novel empirical method for monitoring the accessibility and levels of safety net benefits. It focusses on minimum-income benefits (MIB) and other non-contributory transfers and relies on data on the amounts of cash support that individuals in need receive in practice. Results show that accessibility and benefit levels differ enormously across countries – for instance, in 2015/16, more than four out of five low-income workless one-person households received MIB in Australia, France and the United Kingdom, compared to only one in five in Greece, Italy and Korea, three countries that have since sought to strengthen aspects of safety-net provisions.
  • 18-December-2020

    English

    Raising the Basic Skills of Workers in England, United Kingdom

    This report provides examples and recommendations to help overcome obstacles to engage low-skilled workers and their employers in skills development. England has implemented impressive measures aimed at helping workers and employers to upskill. Nonetheless, there remains room for improvement. More can be done to identify workers with low basic skills, raise awareness of why improving those skills is important, increase the accessibility to relevant courses, ensure these courses are flexible enough to accommodate adult learners who are already employed, and finally make the provision relevant to career aspirations. This report urges England to establish and promote a vision for raising the skills of low-skilled workers, identify their needs more systematically, and provide targeted guidance and information to them and their employers. It highlights that accessible and flexible adult learning opportunities in the workplace, home, community and by other means such as online and distance learning can better meet the varied needs of low-skilled workers. It also makes the case for the use of contextualised learning approaches, which create connections between basic skills and vocational context, and a more effective use of basic skills in workplaces to maintain, develop and realise the benefits of prior skills investments.
  • 16-December-2020

    English

    Transport Connectivity for Remote Communities in Scotland

    This report looks at the transport challenges for remote areas in Scotland. It does so by examining innovative policies the government has developed to ensure communities on both the margins of the country and the economy are connected to the rest of the country. It takes a broad view of connectivity, examining the crucial role transport plays in the provision health and education services.
  • 3-December-2020

    English

    Services trade and labour market outcomes in the United Kingdom

    Services trade has become increasingly important, yet its impact on employment has been understudied at present. This paper uses fine-grained data on firm- and worker-level information to shed light on the impact of services trade on employment and wages in the United Kingdom. It finds that firms can benefit from services trade, through increased employment, production and productivity. On average, workers’ wages are also positively impacted by increased services trade. The findings suggest that services imports enhance female wages more than those of males, thereby contributing to narrow the gender wage gap. They also suggest that reduction of services trade barriers in foreign markets with which the United Kingdom trades coincides with higher wages for employees of trading firms in the United Kingdom.
  • 23-November-2020

    English

    Boosting productivity in the United Kingdom’s service sectors

    The United Kingdom has been among the most affected OECD economies by the COVID-19 crisis, reflecting the high share of services in output and its integration in the world economy. Productivity growth in the United Kingdom has consistently underperformed relative to expectations and was more disappointing than in most other OECD economies since at least the global financial crisis. Sluggish productivity growth in the service sectors was the main factor behind this weak performance. Raising productivity will help to sustain employment and wages but will require a broad range of policies. Keeping low barriers to trade and competition in the UK service sectors will create a supportive environment for strong productivity performance. Prioritising digital infrastructure in the allocation of the planned increase in public investment is expected to bring large productivity dividends. Reviewing the system of support to small firms in the light of the COVID-19 crisis will help to re-prioritise resources towards young innovative firms. Further increasing public spending on training to develop the digital skills of low-qualified workers, which have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 crisis, will be a double-dividend policy, boosting productivity and lowering inequality.
  • 23-November-2020

    English

    Firm investments in skills and capital in the UK services sector

    Investments in both human and physical capital are key drivers of economic growth and productivity gains. The United Kingdom has had a turbulent recent history, being strongly affected by the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and more recently voting to leave the European Union, its largest trading partner. We use firm-level survey data for the UK services sector to show that firms were less likely to increase expenditure on worker training in the periods following each event. In the period following the EU Referendum, firms were 9% less likely to increase expenditure on worker training relative to the period before the referendum. The effects were most severe for larger firms and for those located in London and the South East. The impacts also varied across industries, with firms in real estate, professional, scientific and technical activities among those most negatively affected, while administrative activities and accommodation services were least negatively affected. We see similar changes in expenditure on all forms of physical capital available in the data: IT; vehicles, plants and machinery; and land and buildings. Following the EU Referendum, firms were also more likely to reduce training expenditure, although the magnitudes of the changes were smaller than those following the Financial Crisis of 2008.
  • 23-November-2020

    English

    What drives firm and sectoral productivity in the United Kingdom and in selected European countries?

    This paper examines the link between barriers to trade and investment and productivity performance, in the United Kingdom and selected European countries using both firm-level and sectoral data. Barriers to trade and investment appear to be a robust determinant of productivity in the long term. Control variables such as spending on R&D and human capital also play a role, though their effects depend on the way they are measured or on the sample. The results are robust across a range of productivity measures as well as to changes in the sectoral coverage and the set of controls.
  • 23-November-2020

    English

    The trade impact of the UK’s exit from the EU Single Market

    This paper quantifies the sectoral trade impact in the United Kingdom and in EU countries of the UK’s exit from the Single Market, using the OECD general-equilibrium METRO model. A comprehensive free-trade agreement could lead to a fall by about 6.1% of UK exports and 7.8% of UK imports in the medium term compared to a situation where the United Kingdom would stay in the Single Market. Cost would come essentially from rising technical barriers and sanitary and phytosanitory measures on goods and rising trade costs on services. Rules of origin and border transition costs would have a small effect. Output losses in the European Union (0.4-0.5%) are expected to be less pronounced, but would vary markedly across individual countries. Ireland would experience the largest losses. Losses would also vary across sectors. Accounting for the regulatory impact of ending free movement of people for EU nationals on services trade is expected to bring some additional costs to the services economy. Those losses could be partly compensated by growth-enhancing changes to UK regulations, but only to a limited extent.
  • 17-November-2020

    English

    The impact of COVID-19 on SME financing - A special edition of the OECD Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs Scoreboard

    The COVID-19 crisis has had a profound impact on SME access to finance. In particular, the sudden drop in revenues created acute liquidity shortages, threatening the survival of many viable businesses. The report documents an increase in demand for bank lending in the first half of 2020, and a steady supply of credit thanks to government interventions. On the other hand, other sources of finance declined, in particular early-stage equity. This paper, a special edition of Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs, focuses on the impacts of COVID-19 on SME access to finance, along with government policy responses. It reveals that the pre-crisis financing environment was broadly favourable for SMEs and entrepreneurs, who benefited from low interest rates, loose credit standards and an increasingly diverse offer of financing instruments. It documents the unprecedented scope and scale of the policy responses undertaken by governments world-wide, and details their key characteristics, and outlines the principal issues and policy challenges for the next phases of the pandemic, such as the over-indebtedness of SMEs and the need to continue to foster a diverse range of financing instruments for SMEs.
  • 16-November-2020

    English

    Global Teaching InSights - A Video Study of Teaching

    What does teaching look like? What practices are most impactful? By directly observing teaching in the classroom, this study trialled new research methods to shed light on these key questions for raising student outcomes around the world. This report provides a detailed account of classroom management, social and emotional support, and instructional practices in the classrooms of eight countries and economies, drawing upon the observation of lesson videos and instructional materials, the analysis of teacher and student questionnaires, and the measurement of students’ cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes.
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