Asia and Pacific

Black Sea and Central Asian Economic Outlook: Promoting Work and Well-Being


The Black Sea and Central Asian Economic Outlook is an OECD assessment of economic performance and underlying policies in the Black Sea and Central Asian (BSEC-CA) regions. It has been designed to facilitate dialogue between policy makers, civil society and private sector representatives at the national and regional levels. In this initiative, we have closely collaborated with the International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS).


The legacy of a decade of wrenching changes during the 1990s remains so important that the Black Sea and Central Asian Outlook 2008 is devoted to work and well-being; a theme that draws on perceptions shaped during the transition from central planning and examination of the changes in income and employment. The Outlook is intended to help countries to improve the policy environment for promoting work and well-being.



Did You Know?

During the period 2001-2006, the simple average growth rate of the 11 CIS countries was around 8 per cent per year.

Part 1 (Chapter 1 & 2)

Recent Economic Developments In The Black Sea And Central Asia Regions


The first chapter of the part I focuses on macroeconomic policies and their external positions which are followed by a regional overview of trade, investment and labour flows in chapter 2. The economies of the BSEC-CA regions, and especially the 11 that were republics of the former Soviet Union, have experienced rapid growth in the first years of the 21st century. Part of this impressive performance is recovery from a deep trough, and some countries have benefited from large terms of trade gains, but it also reflects substantial improvement in macroeconomic policies.

Did You Know?
The average life expectancy estimation for total population in BSEC-CA regions in 2008 is 70.95 years where 67.21 and 74.96 years for men and women respectively.

Part II (Chapter 3)

Work And Well-Being: The Observed Outcomes


It sets the stage for Part II by reviewing the observed outcomes in important dimensions of work and well-being while providing evidence and the extent to which inequality and poverty have been reduced during the first few years of the 21st century.

The transitional recession and the emergence of inequality and poverty affected well-being. Lack of employment was an important element of diminished well-being, and one cause of the continuing malaise in the region is the phenomenon of jobless growth in some countries. One response to the end of central planning was the growth of the informal economy; another response was migration, both of which have important implications for work and well-being.

Did you know?
The Europe and Central Asia region (as defined by the World Bank and roughly coterminous with the BSEC-CA region) was the world’s largest region of emigration with 25.9 per cent of the world’s migrants by origin.(WB 2000).


Part II (Chapter 4)

Labour Market Outcomes And The Global Policy Environment

This chapter assesses the underlying reasons of declining work and well-being by examining the temporal gap between job destruction and job creation during the transition from central planning, a process which took far longer than many anticipated at the start of the 1990s. The second section of this chapter focuses on firm’s response taking place simultaneously together with transition from central planning to market-based economies and integration into the global economy where the final section considers the role of OECD countries’ policies in helping or hindering the BSEC-CA countries from benefiting from globalisation.

Did you know?
In BSEC-CA regions, the highest informality as per cent of the GNP is encountered in Georgia 68.0, where Greece has the lowest value 28.2.

Part II (Chapter 5)

Households’ Responses And Coping Mechanisms

The malfunctioning of labour market institutions and the limited ability of firms to respond to shocks in the initial years of transition led to the need for households to adopt coping strategies to mitigate the effects of income variability. Short-term coping mechanisms to deal with immediate shocks and longer-term household responses, informality and migration are analyzed in this chapter.

Did you know?

During the late 1990s, unemployment benefits were equal to 0.1-0.3 per cent of the GDP in CIS countries, compared to 1.4 and 1.7 per cent of GDP in south-east Europe and central Eastern Europe, respectively (World Bank, 2005)


Part II (Chapter 6)

Policy Responses

This chapter assesses public response to promote work and well-being through labour market policies. These policies are undergoing profound changes in all countries, as a result of two shocks: the full transition to market-based economies and the further integration of these economies into the global economy. At this stage of ongoing creation and implementation, though, complete information about the size, structure and composition of the policies is lacking. For the resulting programmes that have been implemented, there is minimal evidence of monitoring and evaluation to analyse thoroughly their impact. Despite their nascence in some countries of the BSEC-CA regions, this chapter, nevertheless, attempts to shed more light on these policies, complementing the evidence and analysis of the previous chapters in Part II of the Outlook. 

Did you know?

The design of ALMPs should be carefully co-ordinated with passive labour market and social policies to minimise possible distortions and ensure they all contribute to increasing employment rates.

Part II (Chapter 7)

Conclusions And Policy Recommendations

The Policy recommendation chapter brings together some lessons from past policy formation, in order to assess future policy options in the area of work and well-being. The policy environment has emerged from a centralised past, sometimes with more or less appropriate foreign elements superimposed. The way forward must take into account this legacy and the coping mechanisms introduced during the transition.




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For further information, journalists are invited to contact Colm Foy (tel. + 33 1 45 24 84 80) and Kathryn Bailey (tel. + 33 1 45 24 84 81) in the OECD Development Centre's Media Division or Cengiz Orun (tel. + 33 1 45 24 85 49) in the Black Sea and Central Asian Economic Outlook unit.



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