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  • 20-July-2021

    English

    Bridging connectivity divides

    As countries weather the COVID-19 health emergency, high-quality connectivity, more than ever, is essential to ensure that economic activities can continue in a remote manner. However, important disparities in terms of connectivity persist, aggravating the consequences of the health emergency. Therefore, policies aiming to reduce connectivity divides are of paramount importance. This report explores policies and regulations in OECD countries that have proven successful to work towards closing connectivity divides. It offers a roadmap to policy makers on the overarching policies and regulatory measures to expand connectivity, as well as the tailored approaches to extend broadband networks in rural and remote areas.
  • 15-July-2021

    English

    Transparency reporting on terrorist and violent extremist content online - An update on the global top 50 content sharing services

    This benchmarking report explores the degree to which the world’s top 50 online content-sharing services’ approaches to terrorist and violent extremist content (TVEC) online have evolved since a first report in 2020. This new edition finds there has been tangible progress: 11 services have issued TVEC-specific transparency reports over the past year (6 more than in 2020); and the 5 services that already issued such reports now provide additional information. However, transparency reports expressly addressing TVEC remain uncommon and services continue to use different metrics, definitions and reporting frequencies. It remains difficult to gain an industry-wide perspective on the efficacy of companies’ measures to combat TVEC online and how they may affect human rights. Meanwhile, there is a growing risk of regulatory fragmentation due to unco-ordinated transparency requirements across jurisdictions. There is an urgent need for increased, and more comparable, TVEC reporting.
  • 8-July-2021

    English

    Employee training and firm performance - Evidence from ESF grant applications

    As work changes, firm-provided training may become more relevant. However, there is little causal evidence about the effects of training on firms. This paper studies a large training grants programme in Portugal, supported by the European Social Fund, contrasting firms that received the grants and firms that also applied but were unsuccessful. Combining several rich data sets, we compare many potential outcomes of these firms, while following them over several years both before and after the grant decision. Our difference-in-differences models estimate significant positive effects on take up (training hours and expenditure), with limited deadweight; and that such additional training led to increased sales, value added, employment, productivity, and exports (although not profits). These effects tend to be of at least 5% and, in some cases, 10% or more, and are robust in multiple dimensions.
  • 8-July-2021

    English

    Productivity and human capital - The Italian case

    This paper investigates whether and how worker composition, ownership and management affect the productivity of firms. To this aim, we use a dataset obtained by integrating the micro-data drawn from Rilevazione su Imprese e Lavoro (RIL), a survey conducted by Inapp in 2010 and 2015 on a representative sample of Italian limited liability and partnership firms, with the AIDA archive containing comprehensive information on the balance sheets of almost all the Italian corporations. We apply different regression models and the findings reveal that a higher share of skilled workers within firms and more experienced managers are associated with higher productivity levels. In addition, firms run by managers with higher education are more likely to introduce innovation. Finally, family ownership and the coincidence of management with ownership are negatively related with firm productivity.
  • 8-July-2021

    English

    Financial distress and the role of management in micro and small-sized firms

    In this paper, we focus on the managerial characteristics of micro and small-sized firms. Using linked employer-employee data on the Portuguese economy for the 2010-2018 period, we estimate the impact of management teams’ human capital on the probability of firms becoming financially distressed and their subsequent recovery. Our estimates show that the relevance of management teams’ formal education on the probability of firms becoming financially distressed depends on firms’ size and the type of education. We show that management teams’ formal education and tenure reduce the probability of micro and small-sized firms becoming financially distressed and increases the probability of their subsequent recovery. The estimates also suggest that those impacts are stronger for micro and small-sized firms. Additionally, our results show that functional experience previously acquired in other firms, namely in foreign-owned and in exporting firms and in the area of finance, may reduce the probability of micro firms becoming financially distressed. On the other hand, previous functional experience in other firms seems to have a strong and highly significant impact on increasing the odds of recovery of financially distressed firms. We conclude that policies that induce an improvement in the managerial human capital of micro and small-sized firms have significant scope to improve their financial condition, enhancing the economy’s resilience against shocks.
  • 8-July-2021

    English

    A new approach to skills mismatch

    Skills mismatch - the sub-optimal use of an individual's skills in their occupation - can be a source of dissatisfaction for workers and a brake for productivity growth. In our view, a difference in the level of skills within an occupation is not sufficient to infer that a skills mismatch exists. Since skills-mismatch is the result of a disparity between the supply and demand of labour, the quantifying of skills-mismatch must therefore be based on the mechanisms involved in this disparity. We propose to include in our measurement the level of education and field of study, which are key markers of an individual's skill level in the labour market. This makes it possible to identify, among individuals whose skill level differs from others within an occupation, those whose training profile can (or cannot) explain this situation. Through using the OECD PIAAC 2012 survey, this paper first identifies with data for France, individuals who present an apparent skills mismatch according to the framework proposed. Following an international comparison of 'apparent skills mismatch rates', we conclude this study by observing how the different groups identified differ in terms of how they perceive their employment situation as well as their individual characteristics.
  • 8-July-2021

    English

    New evidence on intangibles, diffusion and productivity

    This paper presents new evidence on the impact of intangible capital on productivity dispersion within industries. It first shows that rise in productivity dispersion after 2000 is more pronounced in intangible-intensive industries; then analyses the link between intangible capital intensity and productivity dispersion both at the top and at the bottom of the productivity distribution, and in different industries. The findings suggest that industries that have experienced a stronger increase in intangible investment have also seen a steeper rise in productivity dispersion both at the top and at the bottom of the productivity distribution. While the results at the top seem to be associated with the scalability of intangible capital – which is likely to disproportionally benefit high-productivity firms and incumbents – dispersion at the bottom appears to be linked to complementarities between intangible investment and factors like digital intensity, trade openness and venture capital.
  • 8-July-2021

    English

    The return on human (STEM) capital in Belgium

    Whilst overall productivity growth is stalling, firms at the frontier are still able to capture the benefits of the newest technologies and business practices. This paper uses linked employer-employee data covering all Belgian firms over a period of almost 20 years and investigates the differences in human capital between highly productive firms and less productive firms. We find a clear positive correlation between the share of high-skilled and STEM workers in a firm's workforce and its productivity. We obtain elasticities of 0.20 to 0.70 for a firm's productivity as a function of the share of high-skilled workers. For STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) workers, of all skill levels, we find elasticities of 0.20 to 0.45. More importantly, the elasticity of STEM workers is increasing over time, whereas the elasticity of high-skilled workers is decreasing. This is possibly linked with the increasing number of tertiary education graduates and at the same time increased difficulties in filling STEM-related vacancies. Specifically, for high-skilled STEM workers in the manufacturing sector, the productivity gain can be as much as 4 times higher than the gain from hiring additional high-skilled non-STEM workers. To ensure that government efforts to increase the adoption of the latest technologies and business practices within firms lead to sustainable productivity gains, such actions should be accompanied by measures to increase the supply and mobility of human (STEM) capital. Without a proper supply of skills, firms will not be able to reap the full benefits of the digital revolution.
  • 28-June-2021

    English

    Measuring the AI content of government-funded R&D projects - A proof of concept for the OECD Fundstat initiative

    This report presents the results of a proof of concept for a new analytical infrastructure ('Fundstat') for analysing government funding of R&D at the project level, exploiting the wealth of text-based information about funded projects. Reflecting the growth in popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) and the OECD Council Recommendation on AI’s emphasis on R&D investment, the report focuses on analysing government investments into AI-related R&D. Using text mining tools, it documents the creation of a list of key terms used to identify AI-related R&D projects contained in 13 funding databases from eight OECD countries and the EU, provides estimates for the total number and volume of government R&D funding, and characterises their AI funding portfolio. The methods and findings developed in this study also serve as a prototype for a new distributed mechanism capable of measuring and analysing government R&D support across key OECD priority areas and topics.
  • 28-June-2021

    English

    Tools for trustworthy AI - A framework to compare implementation tools for trustworthy AI systems

    As artificial intelligence (AI) advances across economies and societies, stakeholder communities are actively exploring how best to encourage the design, development, deployment and use of AI that is human-centred and trustworthy. This report presents a framework for comparing tools and practices to implement trustworthy AI systems as set out in the OECD AI Principles. The framework aims to help collect, structure and share information, knowledge and lessons learned to date on tools, practices and approaches for implementing trustworthy AI. As such, it provides a way to compare tools in different use contexts. The framework will serve as the basis for the development of an interactive, publicly available database on the OECD.AI Policy Observatory. This report informs ongoing OECD work towards helping policy makers and other stakeholders implement the OECD AI Principles in practice.
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