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  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: For many cities in OECD countries, globalisation has opened access to new markets, skilled human resources and advanced technology, while accelerating international competition and industrial restructuring. Seoul – a city of 10.3 million people at the core of a capital region of 22.5 million people, one of the world's most populous metropolitan regions – is striving to upgrade its position from that of a national mega-capital to become a “world city” and a leading business hub in Northeast Asia.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Korea, Northeast Asia, Seoul
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Fears that “globalisation” implies increasing job losses and lower wages are an important source of popular ambivalence towards the increasingly open character of OECD economies. Although such concerns are not new, recent developments appear to have heightened workers' apprehensions that rising trade competition threatens their jobs, wages and employment conditions, particularly in the higher-wage OECD countries. Increased international sourcing of production activities – including the “offshoring” of some white-collar jobs in information technology (IT) and business services – has led some commentators to conclude that a large share of high-wage OECD workers will soon be in direct competition with workers in countries where wages are far lower. EU enlargement and the increasing integration of large, labour-surplus economies such as India and China into the world trading system also reinforce anxieties about “delocalisation” and “a race to the bottom”.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Stockholm is one of the most successful metropolitan regions in the OECD. Throughout the 1990s, the region experienced consistent and impressive growth, drawing on its role as the national capital, its research and development strengths, concentration of advanced business, logistical and financial services, and specialisation in high growth, high-tech sectors, notably ICT. Stockholm also stands out for its high quality of life, as is evident in its strong public health performance, high educational attainment and low poverty levels. In terms of these and other socio-economic indicators, Stockholm ranks among the best in the world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Many OECD countries have reformed their personal income tax system over the last two decades. Yet no clear consensus has emerged on what is the ideal personal income tax. These reforms have tried to create a competitive fiscal environment, which encourages investment, risk taking and entrepreneurship and provides increased work incentives. At the same time, fairness and simplicity have become the byword of reformers. Fairness requires that taxpayers in similar circumstances pay similar amounts of tax and that the tax burden is appropriately shared. Simplicity requires that paying your taxes becomes as painless as possible and that the costs of collecting taxes are kept at a minimum.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Climate change poses a serious challenge to social and economic development. Developing countries are particularly vulnerable because their economies are generally more dependent on climate-sensitive natural resources, and because they are less able to cope with the impacts of climate change.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Human Welfare
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: What is sustainable development and why is it important? Most people support the idea of sustainable development, but without fully understanding what it is. Most would agree that it implies a better balance between economic, environmental and social goals, and greater fairness in distributing the gains from growth among people and countries. It also concerns preserving the environment and natural resources as a basis for progress. And it means making policy decisions which are in the interest of future generations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Environment
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Ireland has continued its exemplary economic performance, attaining some of the highest growth rates in the OECD. After a remarkable decade, per-capita income has caught up with and overtaken the EU average. Further progress will require strong productivity growth and continued increases in labour supply. These challenges are familiar to most OECD economies. But it also faces some issues that are less common: it is going through a transition phase in upgrading its social services; infrastructure levels need to catch up with the boom in activity and population that has occurred over this period; and it has to manage some sizeable macroeconomic risks.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ireland
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The OECD represents the governments of its 30 member countries, but it does not work for them in a vacuum. The major stakeholders of democratic societies – business, trade unions and other members of civil society – also have an important role in OECD work.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Economics, Government
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Fish piracy, or illegal fishing activity, depletes global fish stocks and undermines efforts to ensure continued, renewable stocks for the future. It also damages the economic and social welfare of those involved in legal fishing, and reduces incentives to play by the rules. But despite national and international efforts, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing continues to thrive worldwide.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Human Welfare, International Law
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Predatory pricing is the practice of offering goods or services at exceptionally low prices, thereby forfeiting some profit in order to drive competitors out of the market, discipline them, and/or deter entry. It is among the most frequently discussed topics in competition law and economics.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Industrial Policy, Markets
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Governments pay out some USD 6 billion a year to support the fisheries sector in OECD countries. This money, variously called subsidies, support or financial transfers, is used to help manage fish stocks, to modernise fishing fleets, and to help communities and regions that can no longer make a living out of fishing to develop other economic activity. The money is also intended to assist in resolving problems of over-fishing and over-capacity that affect many parts of the OECD fishing industry.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Government
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: China is the world's sixth largest economy and its most populous country, home to 1.3 billion people or 21% of the Earth's total population. But it faces a major challenge in providing its people with food – China has only 10% of the world's arable land and only one quarter of the average world water resources per person.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Civil Society, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Governments have made major changes to the way they manage the public sector in the past two decades, privatising commercial activities such as telephone services, cutting red tape and making government more transparent and responsive to citizens.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government, Science and Technology
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Chile continues to be a strong performer and the economy has recovered in earnest from the 1998-2003 slowdown. Macroeconomic management has been exemplary and policies have been framed in rules-based, credible settings. Public finances are particularly robust, making the economy resilient to shocks. Structural reform is on-going, unleashing opportunities for growth. But Chile's income gap remains sizeable relative to the OECD area. Lifting the economy's growth potential is therefore Chile's overarching policy challenge.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Brazil is a major player in the global economy, one of the world's 10 largest economies, with a population of 180 million and vast natural resources. Brazil's agricultural land is exceeded only by China, Australia and the United States, and agriculture plays an important role in the country's economy. Primary agriculture accounts for 8% of GDP, while agricultural products account for about 30% of exports.
  • Topic: International Relations, Agriculture, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Brazil, South America, Australia
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Despite higher energy prices, the expansion has continued at a solid pace, driven by private domestic demand. With the output gap closing, stimulus is appropriately being withdrawn. However, monetary tightening since mid-2004 has not yet translated into higher long-term interest rates, and the incipient decline in the federal budget deficit owes much to the recent buoyancy of revenues. Over the next 18 months, the economy is projected to grow at an annual rate of 3¼ per cent, roughly in line with estimated potential output. Although such a soft landing is the most likely outcome, there are some risks. With little economic slack left, inflation could continue to pick up, in particular if oil prices keep rising. Insufficient public spending restraint or renewed dollar weakness associated with concerns about the external deficit might also add to inflationary pressures. On the other hand, an end to the house price boom, let alone a sharp correction, could entail a retrenchment of household expenditure that has been underpinned by rising household wealth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The stability and resilience of the economy has been impressive and labour and product markets are among the most flexible in the OECD, but structural economic performance judged against a range of indicators can be further improved.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Steady increases in trade volumes and complexity in recent years have significantly changed the operating environment for the international trading community. They have also highlighted the negative impact of inefficient border procedures on governments, businesses and ultimately on the customer and the economy as a whole. Governments may face smuggling, fraud and national security problems, which drain the public coffers, while businesses pay the price of slow and unpredictable goods delivery, costly customs procedures, and even lost business opportunities. And all these costs ultimately make goods more expensive for the consumer.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Space, and man's relationship to it, has captured the human imagination for centuries. During the 20th century, dreams of space exploration became reality, and now dozens of countries, in particular in the OECD area, devote major resources to space programmes. But is this money well spent? Can we use space to find solutions to Earth's problems not available on the ground, or are we just pursuing high-priced star-filled dreams? Space technology may have brought us benefits from satellite telecommunications and their associated benefits such as telemedicine, but could we be doing more to exploit the link between space exploration and Earth application?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Science and Technology
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The modern era of competition policy in Brazil began in 1994 with the enactment of a new law as part of the “Real Plan”, a set of policies developed to deal with a period of hyperinflation. The law established a Brazilian Competition Policy System (BCPS) consisting of three agencies: a re-configured Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE), which had originally been created in 1962, the Economic Law Office (SDE) in the Ministry of Justice, and the Secretariat for Economic Monitoring (SEAE) in the Ministry of Finance. CADE has adjudicative authority in BCPS cases, while SDE has the principal investigative role, and SEAE is primarily responsible for providing economic analysis.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America