• 28-February-2023


    Selected policy challenges for the American middle class

    The American middle class has shrunk in size since 1970 according to most definitions. This 'hollowing' out of the United States income distribution could result in disillusionment, diminished political engagement, and declining trust in institutions. The American middle class faces two major challenges, among others. First, child care costs in the United States are high and availability is low. Improving enrolment in child care has the potential to reverse the fall in female labour market participation since the financial crisis and result in improved well-being and economic growth. Public funding for child care programmes should be raised, and programme eligibility should be widened to benefit middle-income parents. Second, the climate transition will entail major changes to middle-class lifestyles. Reductions in US household emissions from housing and transportation will be key to achieving the overall emission reduction targets, and may prove costly. Workers in carbon-intensive sectors of the economy and households living in regions that rely on carbon-intensive activities will be affected as resources shift to greener sectors. A national climate strategy should be developed that explicitly takes into account emissions inequalities and the redistributive effects of climate policies. Active labour market policies will be key to achieving a just transition, and existing home weatherisation programmes should be expanded to cover the middle-class.
  • 12-octobre-2022


    États-Unis : il faut continuer de s’attaquer aux problèmes macroéconomiques tout en soutenant la classe moyenne et en se préparant au vieillissement démographique, selon l’OCDE

    Après une reprise rapide consécutive à la pandémie, les États-Unis sont confrontés à des difficultés économiques considérables du fait de l’envolée de l’inflation et du ralentissement de l’activité économique, selon un nouveau rapport de l’OCDE.

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  • 7-May-2021


    To what extent can blockchain help development co-operation actors meet the 2030 Agenda?

    Blockchain is mainstreaming, but the number of blockchain for development use-cases with proven success beyond the pilot stage remain relatively few. This paper outlines key blockchain concepts and implications in order to help policymakers reach realistic conclusions when considering its use. The paper surveys the broad landscape of blockchain for development to identify where the technology can optimise development impact and minimise harm. It subsequently critically examines four successful applications, including the World Food Programme’s Building Blocks, Oxfam’s UnBlocked Cash project, KfW’s TruBudget and Seso Global. As part of the on-going work co-ordinated by the OECD’s Blockchain Policy Centre, this paper asserts that post-COVID-19, Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors and their development partners have a unique opportunity to shape blockchain’s implementation.
  • 18-December-2020


    The decline in labour mobility in the United States: Insights from new administrative data

    Job mobility is essential for a well-functioning market economy and for individual workers to boost their wages. This paper provides a re-assessment of job mobility in the United States during 2000-2018, based on a novel administrative data source covering almost all workers and job flows. First, aggregate job hire and job separation rates have declined over time, especially in the 2000s. This is mainly driven by flows into and out of nonemployment, while job-to-job hires during 2016-2018 had recovered to their peak levels prior to the global financial crisis. Examination of job mobility across different individual and firm-level characteristics shows comparatively higher job-to-job flows for youth, the less educated, non-whites and individuals working in young firms. In addition, observed job movers in these groups experience the largest earnings gain on average from job-to-job changes. Second, a spatial look at job mobility shows net job-to-job flows towards Western and Southern States. The aggregate rate of interstate job-to-job hires has been stable since 2000 and the observed job-to-job movers on average get a substantial boost to earnings by moving farther away and switching industries. Third, the paper briefly considers the influence of demographic changes on job mobility, one important driver identified in previous work. While ageing may explain around half of the downward trend in job hire and separation rates, other factors matter too.
  • 18-December-2020


    Why are some U.S. cities successful, while others are not? Empirical evidence from machine learning

    The U.S. population has become increasingly concentrated in large metropolitan areas. However, there are striking differences in between the performances of big cities: some of them have been very successful and have been able to pull away from the rest, while others have stagnated or even declined. The main objective of this paper is to characterize U.S. metropolitan areas according to their labor-market performance: which metropolitan areas are struggling and falling behind? Which ones are flourishing? Which ones are staying resilient by adapting to shocks? We rely on an unsupervised machine learning technique called Hierarchical Agglomerative Clustering (HAC) to conduct this empirical investigation. The data comes from a number of sources including the new Job-to-Job (J2J) flows dataset from the Census Bureau, which reports the near universe of job movements in and out of employment at the metropolitan level. We characterize the fate of metropolitan areas by tracking their job mobility rate, unemployment rate, income growth, population increase, net change in job-to-job mobility and GDP growth. Our results indicate that the 372 metropolitan areas under examination can be categorized into four statistically distinct groups: booming areas (67), prosperous mega metropolitan areas (99), resilient areas (149) and distressed metropolitan areas (57). The results show that areas that are doing well are predominantly located in the south and the west. The main features of their success have revolved around embracing digital technologies, adopting local regulations friendly to job mobility and business creation, avoiding strict rules on land-use and housing market, and improving the wellbeing of the city’s population. These results highlight that cities adopting well-targeted policies can accelerate the return to growth after a shock.
  • 17-November-2020


    Modernising state-level regulation and policies to boost mobility in the United States

    The U.S. population is becoming increasingly urban and has gradually shifted to the south and west. Policy restrictions have played a role in preventing dynamic areas expanding, and when they do expand it can be through low-density housing sprawl. Land use restrictions and a sluggish housing supply as well as difficulties in making timely and co-ordinated supply of infrastructure have hindered workers benefiting from new opportunities including through moving. Policies can address these issues by targeting housing affordability, help families move and invest in infrastructure to improve accessibility and connectivity.
  • 17-novembre-2020


    Le financement des PME et des entrepreneurs. Tableau de bord de l’OCDE - Édition spéciale : les conséquences du COVID-19

    Ce rapport est une édition spéciale du Tableau de bord de l’OCDE sur le financement des PME et des entrepreneurs, publication phare de l’OCDE. Il examine en détail les conséquences du COVID-19 sur l’accès des PME au financement, ainsi que les mesures prises en conséquence par les pouvoirs publics. Il apparaît qu’avant la crise, les conditions de financement étaient globalement favorables pour les PME et les entrepreneurs, qui bénéficiaient de faibles taux d’intérêt, de critères accommodants d’octroi des crédits et d’une offre de plus en plus diversifiée d’instruments de financement. Mais la crise du COVID‑19 a profondément bouleversé l’accès des PME au financement. Plus particulièrement, l’effondrement brutal du chiffre d’affaires des entreprises a provoqué de graves pénuries de liquidités qui ont mis en danger la survie de bon nombre d’entreprises viables. Ce rapport fait état d’une augmentation de la demande de prêts bancaires au cours du premier semestre de 2020, et d’une stabilité de l’offre de crédit grâce à l’action des pouvoirs publics. Parallèlement, on a observé un recul d’autres sources de financement, en particulier l’apport de fonds propres au stade du démarrage. Le rapport réunit des données sur le périmètre et l’ampleur des mesures prises par les gouvernements dans le monde, et en précise les principales caractéristiques. Il décrit les principaux enjeux stratégiques du financement des PME qui se poseront au cours des prochaines phases de la pandémie ; il s’agira en effet d’éviter le surendettement des PME, de promouvoir une gamme diversifiée d’instruments de financement, de stimuler la création d’entreprises et de renforcer la résilience des PME par des mesures structurelles.
  • 21-October-2020


    Anti-competitive and regulatory barriers in the United States labour market

    Occupational licensing and non-competition agreements are two important types of labour market regulation in the United States, both covering around one fifth of all workers. While some regulation is needed to protect safety and ensure quality of services, it also creates entry barriers and reduces competition with important costs for job mobility, earnings and productivity growth. Employment opportunities for low-skilled workers and disadvantaged groups tend to be particularly affected by these barriers. The States are mainly responsible for labour market regulation and the variation across States is similar to the variation in the European Union. Harmonising requirements and scaling back occupational licensing as well as restricting the use of non-competition covenants could help to circumvent the secular decline in dynamism. However, attempts to reform often face stiff opposition from associations of professionals. The federal government has limited influence, but can in some cases help by shifting the burden from workers to meet regulatory requirements onto States and employers to show that high and differing regulatory standards are needed.
  • 14-September-2020


    Services trade costs in the United States: A simulation based on the OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index

    While services account for almost 80% of GDP in the United States and a growing share of global trade, regulatory barriers to services trade around the world are still high. Using a hypothetical liberalisation scenario, this paper assesses the potential reduction of trade costs that could be achieved in 17 US services sectors. The analysis relies on the OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) which records barriers to services trade in 46 economies. The illustrative scenario assumes a 50% reduction in the gap between the current STRI score of the United States and the score of the least restrictive country in each sector. The results highlight the economic benefits of aligning US services regulation with global best practice. The average reduction in trade costs across the 17 sectors analysed would amount to 9.7 percentage points, with a quarter of the sectors experiencing reductions larger than 14.1 percentage points and another quarter experiencing reductions smaller than 5.3 percentage points.
  • 9-July-2020


    Launch of the 2020 OECD Economic Survey of the United States

    The unemployment rate has also risen precipitously in recent months, reaching 14.7% in April before falling back to 11.1% in June. Worryingly, the last time the US unemployment rate exceeded the recent peak was during the Great Depression.

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