More like Understanding Economic Growth A Macro-level, Industry-level, and Firm-level Perspective

OECD Factbook 2014 is a comprehensive annual statistical publication. More than 100 indicators cover a wide range of topics including new indicators on trade in value added and climate change.

Data are provided for all OECD member countries (including area totals), and for Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and South Africa. For each indicator, there is a two-page spread: a text page includes a short introduction followed by a detailed definition of the indicator, comments on comparability of the data, an assessment of long-term trends related to the indicator and a list of references for further information on the indicator; the second page contains a table and a graph providing, at a glance, the key message conveyed by the data. Each indicator includes "StatLinks" which allow readers to download the corresponding data.

OECD Countries covered include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile,Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Non-OECD countries covered include Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa.

Topics covered include population and migration; production and productivity; household income, wealth and debt; globalisation, trade and foreign direct investment (FDI); prices, interest rates and exchange rates; energy and transportation; labour, employment and unemployment; science and technology including research and development (R&D) and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector; environment including natural resoures, water,and air and climate; education resources and outcomes; government expenditures, debt, revenues, taxes, agricultural support and foreign aid; and health status, risk and resources.

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This book explores recent developments in environmental cost-benefit analysis (CBA). This is defined as the application of CBA to projects or policies that have the deliberate aim of environmental improvement or are actions that affect, in some way, the natural environment as an indirect consequence. It builds on the previous OECD book by David Pearce et al. (2006), which took as its starting point that a number of developments in CBA, taken together, altered the way in which many economists would argue CBA should be carried out and that this was particularly so in the context of policies and projects with significant environmental impacts.
It is a primary objective of the current book not only to assess more recent advances in CBA theory but also to identify how specific developments illustrate key thematic narratives with implications for practical use of environmental CBA in policy formulation and appraisal of investment projects.
Perhaps the most significant development is the contribution of climate economics in its response to the challenge of appraising policy actions to mitigate (or adapt to) climate change. Work in this area has increased the focus on how to value costs and benefits that occur far into the future, particularly by showing how conventional procedures for establishing the social discount rate become highly problematic in this intergenerational context and what new approaches might be needed. The contribution of climate economics has also entailed thinking further about uncertainty in CBA, especially where uncertain outcomes might be associated with large (and adverse) impacts.
Improving the environmental performance of agriculture is a high priority for OECD countries. But measuring and evaluating the impact of agri-environmental policies on the environment can be challenging, as it requires linking economic and biophysical models in country-specific contexts.

The OECD has developed the Stylised Agri-environmental Policy Impact Model (SAPIM), which can be adapted and applied by researchers and policy makers to better understand the impact of policies on the agri-environment conditions in their countries.

This report applies the model to representative farms in Finland, Japan, Switzerland and the United States. These countries include a wide range of objectives, policy measures and agri-environmental conditions. The results highlight that when positive or negative environmental externalities are not taken into account by farmers then the production choices by farmers will reflect private costs and benefits. Policies can potentially raise social welfare by taking account of those externalities.

This report notes that, overall, the diversity of conditions across sectors and countries makes it difficult to generalise the impact of agri-environmental policies beyond the situations that are modeled. Nevertheless, some wider policy messages emerge. Drawing on the four case studies examined, this report recommends that; polluting activites that are not regulated should be included in policy design; the existing overall policy environment needs to be taken into account in evaluating agri-environmental policies; and environmental co-benefits and trade-offs need to be recognised.

Green growth policies can stimulate economic growth while preventing environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and unsustainable natural resource use. The results from this publication contribute to the Green Growth Strategy being developed by the OECD as a practical policy package for governments to harness the potential of greener growth.

Measuring Innovation: A New Perspective presents new measures and new ways of looking at traditional indicators. It builds on 50 years of indicator development by OECD and goes beyond R&D to describe the broader context in which innovation occurs. It includes some experimental indicators that provide insight into new areas of policy interest. It highlights measurement gaps and proposes directions for advancing the measurement agenda.

This publication begins by describing innovation today. It looks at what is driving innovation in firms, and how the scientific and research landscape is being reconfigured by convergence, interdisciplinarity and the new geography of innovation hot spots. It presents broader measures of innovation, for example using new indicators of investment in intangible assets and trademarks.

Human capital is the basic input of innovation, and a series of indicators looks at how well education systems are contributing to the knowledge and research bases. Further series examine how firms transform skills and knowledge, and shed light on the different roles of public and private investment in fostering innovation and reaping its rewards, with concrete examples from major global challenges such as health and climate change.

Measuring Innovation is a major step towards evidence-based innovation policy making. It complements traditional “positioning”-type indicators with ones that show how innovation is, or could be, linked to policy. It also recognises that much more remains to be done, and points to the measurement challenges statisticians, researchers and policy makers alike need to address.

Are Latin American governments maximising the potential of fiscal policy as a development tool? The 2009 edition of the Latin American Economic Outlook shows that governments in the region could do much more to exploit the ability of fiscal policy to boost economic growth and combat poverty and inequality.

"An important step forward in the dialogue and exchange of experiences between OECD countries and our region."

-Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, ECLAC

"This publication will provide those concerned with Latin America's future with valuable lessons for fiscal policy drawn from the experiences of OECD and Latin American countries."

-Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Ex-President of Brasil

"This second Latin American Economic Outlook shows the importance of the micro aspects of a proper fiscal policy. The OECD Development Centre has done an outstanding report."

-Guillermo de la Dehesa,
Chairman of the Centre for Economic Policy Research

"Fiscal policy is an axis of the social contract and a key tool in economic and social development. This is the core message of the OECD Latin American Economic Outlook 2009, a most helpful and timely contribution to the policy debate in Latin America."

-Augusto de la Torre,
Chief Economist for Latin America & the Caribbean Region
World Bank.

"The Latin American Economic Outlook 2009 once again gets it right: fiscal policies in Latin America are actively contributing to macroeconomic equilibrium, but the focus now should also be on economic growth, a necessary condition to reduce poverty and inequality."

-Alejandro Foxley, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chile

"The OECD Latin American Economic Outlook 2009 highlights the path to follow to continue improving fiscal policy action as a tool for development." Juan C. Gómez Sabaini, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

“With this new volume on fiscal policy, the OECD Latin American Economic Outlook continues to enrich our knowledge and debate on the key topics affecting Latin America’s economic and social challenges.”

-Enrique Iglesias,
Secretary-General of the Ibero-American General Secretariat

“This publication illustrates that the challenge ahead for the region is to find out how to use scarce tax resources to foster growth, reduce poverty and provide better public services.”

-Henrique Meirelles, Governor, Central Bank of Brazil

“This report urges policy makers to rediscover the potential use of fiscal policy and to make this policy instrument as effective as it can be.”

-Vito Tanzi, Former Director,
Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF

Before 1980, rates were generally well below 10%. They have since doubled or tripled in many countries, and in almost half of the OECD, 50% or more of the population is overweight. A key risk factor for numerous chronic diseases, obesity is a major public health concern.

This book contributes to evidence-based policy making by exploring multiple dimensions of the obesity problem. It examines the scale and characteristics of the epidemic, the respective roles and influence of market forces and governments, and the impact of interventions. It outlines an economic approach to the prevention of chronic diseases that provides novel insights relative to a more traditional public health approach.

The analysis was undertaken by the OECD, partly in collaboration with the World Health Organization. The main chapters are complemented by special contributions from health and obesity experts, including Marc Suhrcke, Tim Lobstein, Donald Kenkel and Francesco Branca.

“a valuable set of results and suggestions about the best preventive interventions to reduce the burden of obesity.” – Julio Frenk, Dean, Harvard School of Public Health

“The positive message of this book is that the obesity epidemic can be successfully addressed.” – Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General, World Health Organization

“innovative and well-researched” – Martin McKee, Professor, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


"A timely, valuable volume on a critical issue. Highly recommended."-Choice, July 2011

Though only three years old, electronic commerce over the Internet has the potential to transform the marketplace. E-commerce will change the way business is conducted. Traditional intermediary functions will be replaced, new products and markets will be developed, and new relationships will be created between business and consumers. It will alter the way work is organised and open new channels of knowledge diffusion and human interactivity in the workplace. Workers will need to be more flexible as their functions and skills are redefined. The changes e-commerce will bring are far-reaching. They require new frameworks for doing business and a re-examination of government policies relating to commerce and skills. What is electronic commerce? What is the current state and likely future direction of e-commerce? What are the drivers and what are the inhibitors? What is its impact on costs, prices, and ultimately on economic efficiency? How is it affecting intermediaries? How do firms compete in the electronic environment? What market structure is likely to emerge? What is the impact on jobs? What types of skills will be needed? What major societal transformations will it entail? The full impact of e-commerce remains to be seen. This book begins to address these questions and provides a ground-breaking assessment of the economic and social impacts of electronic commerce and its effects on jobs by drawing on existing qualitative and quantitative evidence. This early analysis of an extremely dynamic activity identifies a number of areas where research is urgently needed and serves as the basis for an informed policy debate.
Mobilising private investment is recognised as a priority area for development so that poor countries are not left further behind. But reaping the maximum benefits of investment is not automatic. Policies matter too. A key challenge, therefore, is how to frame investment policies in a way that supports and reinforces economic development. In this respect, OECD Investment Committee co-operation activities with non-member economies aim to promote private investment, both foreign and domestic, and to create the policy environments needed to unleash the full benefits from investment, in terms of economic growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Investment for Development provides a record of the OECD Investment Committee's co-operation programmes with non-member economies and their results. These extensive co-operation activities are organised around three dimensions: global events, regional initiatives and dialogue with individual countries. This report documents how these initiatives help to strengthen implementation capacities and best practices among non-members, drawing on the broad applicability of the principles and expertise the OECD has developed in the area of international investment, including the positive contribution of responsible international business.

Host countries are not alone in advancing this agenda. Home countries have a key role to play too. One example is the role of official development assistance in mobilising private investment. Investment for Development includes a report that identifies policy lessons and the analytical evidence that underpins them.