Employment policies and data

OECD Employment Outlook 2006 - Additional reports



This paper explores the impact of policies and institutions on employment and unemployment of OECD countries in the past decades. Reduced-form unemployment equations, consistent with standard wage setting/price-setting models, are estimated using cross-country/time-series data from 21 OECD countries over the period 1982-2003. In the “average” OECD country, high and long-lasting unemployment benefits, high tax wedges and stringent anti-competitive product market regulation are found to increase aggregate unemployment. By contrast, highly centralised and/or coordinated wage bargaining systems are estimated to reduce unemployment.

  • From Inactivity to Work: The role of active labour market policies
    Many OECD countries have in recent decades experienced periods of relatively rapid growth in non-employment benefit expenditures and recipiency rates which have not subsequently been reversed. By contrast, in a number of OECD countries the number of unemployment benefit recipients has declined fairly sharply since the mid-1990s. Although national situations for particular benefits vary greatly, a variety of evidence suggests that there is now often substantial scope for bringing people currently in the sick and disabled, lone-parent, old-age and non-categorical social assistance groups into employment.

  • Starting Well or Losing their Way? The Position of Youth in the Labour Market in OECD Countries
    Despite the fact that today’s young cohorts are smaller in number and better educated than their older counterparts, high youth unemployment remains a serious problem in many OECD countries. This reflects a variety of factors, including the relatively high proportion of young people leaving school without a basic educational qualification, the fact that skills acquired in initial education are not always well adapted to labour market requirements, as well as general labour market conditions and problems in the functioning of labour markets.

For further reading...

Ageing and Employment Issues:

Thematic Review on Ageing and Employment/Vieillissement et politiques de l'emploi:

Pensions at a Glance: Public Policies across OECD countries (2005)

Labour Market Policies and Adult Learning Issues:

Thematic Review on Adult Learning
Promoting Adult Learning (2005)
Beyond Rhetoric: adult learning policies and practicies (2003)
Labour Market Policies and the Public Employment Service (2001)
From Initial Education to Working Life: making transitions work (2000)

Employment and Social Issues:

Previous Issues of the OECD Employment Outlook
Private Health Insurance in OECD Countries - The OECD Health Project 
Sickness and Disability Policies
Society at a Glance: Public Policies across OECD countries (2005)
Extending Opportunities: How Active Social Policy Can Benefit Us All (2005)
Babies and Bosses - Reconciling Work and Family Life (2005)
Benefits and Wages: OECD Indicators 2004 (2004)
Transforming Disability into Ability: policies to promote work and income security for disabled (2003)

Economic Growth and Stuctural Reforms Issues:

OECD Economic Outlook, No. 79, May 2006
Economic Policy Reforms: Going for growth  (2006)
Trade and Structural Adjustment: Embracing Globalisation (2005)
The Sources of Economic Growth in OECD countries (2003)

OECD Working Papers:

OECD, Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers
ECO Working Papers


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