by Marie-Helene Doumet, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Photo credit: Austin Pacheco/Unsplash

For many in the northern hemisphere, September means it’s time to head back to school. As students start feeling the excitement of the first day, many parents, policy leaders, and governments are thinking about how to best prepare our children for their future.

One of the most pressing topics on many agendas is how to reduce the achievement gap across populations and ensure that all have access to a quality education. Education serves as the foundation of our progression through life, and policy makers around the world have made it their…

by Gabriela Ramos, speech given at Queen’s International Institute on Social Policy, August 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to be with you in Canada. I was here last month to present the OECD’s Economic Survey of Canada — and let me tell you that Canada scores highly on well-being measures and does well compared to other OECD countries on personal security, health, environmental quality, social connections, education and skills.

Canada is also taking steps to address inequalities, and income inequality is close to the OECD mean. …

by Falilou Fall, OECD Economics Department

Health outcomes in the Czech Republic have improved considerably over the last decade. Life expectancy rose by 2.6 years to 78.7 years between 2005 and 2015 towards the OECD average of 80.6 years. This was achieved with relatively low expenditures on health care of about 7% of GDP. However, the population is ageing challenging the financial sustainability of the health care system. As the old-age dependency ratio deteriorates, so do revenues of the health care system as they rely heavily on social security contributions of the working population. …

Job automation is widely seen as one of the biggest challenges of the digital revolution, and a source of uncertainty and insecurity for many workers today. The automation of routine tasks has already lowered the share of middle-skill jobs, and polarised low- and high-income jobs, which is associated with rising inequality. In some cases, digitalisation has reduced the demand for low-skilled as well as middle-skilled workers, while increasing demand for a high-skilled workforce, which cannot always be met by the existing supply. The risk is higher wages for some, but unemployment for others.

by Amar Toor, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Image credit: Alex Kotliarskyi/Unsplash

As the founder and executive director of the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN), Shea Gopaul spends a lot of her time thinking about the future of work. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and emerging technologies have dramatically altered the skill sets that employers seek today, and the career paths for young adults today look increasingly unclear. But Gopaul thinks apprenticeships can help — both for recent graduates who may be unsure of their next steps, as well as older adults looking to adapt their skill sets to a fast-changing market.

We sat…

by Nigel Pain and Véronique Salins, OECD Economics Department

Stronger cross-border economic and financial integration implies that macroeconomic shocks in one country are increasingly likely to spill over into other economies. This is particularly true in national financial markets, where developments increasingly reflect common underlying factors, as shown in the special chapter of the latest OECD Economic Outlook. Thus, a change in risk sentiment in a major market, such as the United States, may spread quickly to other markets, with implications for activity and economic policy.

This is illustrated below, using simulations based on the global macro model NiGEM. The…

By Amar Toor, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Image credit: Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash

In an article published in 2017, University of Sydney economics professor Colm Harmon argues that the challenge facing today’s university students is one of “ambiguity.”

“They have more options on many fronts, but face a world that is closing in around them,” Harmon writes. “They have accepted that they will perhaps have more than one career, and that they may be training for a type of work that could be jilted out of existence at any point by the forces of globalisation and technology.”

Harmon, who is also Vice Provost at…

©Suvra Kanti Das/ZUMA-REA

Beyond Bangladesh, OECD countries must act to save lives in the garment industry

By Christy Hoffman, General Secretary, UNI Global Union, and Jenny Holdcroft, Assistant General Secretary, IndustriAll Global Union

On 24 April 2013, the world woke up to the reality of garment factory conditions in Bangladesh when more than a thousand workers were killed and over two thousand injured after the Rana Plaza garment factory complex, supplying western brands, collapsed.

A bloody line had been crossed. People in countries around the world began caring who made their clothes, and how. Having dismissed warning after warning, global apparel brands could no longer ignore the dangerous working conditions at their supplier factories. …

by Nigel Pain and Elena Rusticelli, OECD Economics Department

Greater international integration has modified the transmission channels and the impact that external shocks have on domestic economies via increased trade openness and exposure to global financial developments. One important change, discussed in the special chapter of the latest OECD Economic Outlook, is that growth prospects in OECD economies have become more sensitive to macroeconomic shocks in non-OECD countries. This reflects the rising share of the emerging market economies (EMEs) in global trade and finance. EMEs now account for one-fifth of world trade, up from around one-tenth two decades ago.


by Nóra Révai, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Photo credit: Nam Hoang/Unsplash

When I started teaching English in my native Hungary, I was excited, confident, and maybe a bit nervous, about managing a group of students and helping them grow. My first year went well: I established good relationships, my students were actively engaged in their learning, and they made huge progress. A year later, however, I taught my first class in mathematics, and the experience was entirely different. The class was often a mess, my students were disengaged, and I felt helpless. I was still the same teacher, so why were the…


Better policies for better lives: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is a global policy forum and a hub for statistics & analysis.

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