The Friday fish

A weekly catch from behind the headlines on oecd.org
OECD Observer

No 2: Innovation; Trade and investment; Stopping bank default; Migration and gender; Fish farming 

Innovation

Hurricane Sandy is the latest in a series of natural disasters which have destroyed people's lives. Can satellite technology help to predict these threats? A symposium at the OECD in mid-October tried to answer this question. Here’s the agenda.

For papers, contact observer@oecd.org. 

Meanwhile, business spending on research and development (R&D) has been hit hard by the economic crisis, with nearly all OECD countries seeing a fall in investment which could impact innovation and long-term growth, according to this new report.

Not that measuring innovation is easy to do. People count patents, for instance, or scientific collaboration. It is a broad and vital subject. If you wish to understand innovation is measured and is changing, a new book called Measuring Innovation: A New Perspective will help you.

Trade and investment

The world business environment darkened further with the news that global flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) shrank by 10% in Q2 compared with the previous quarter and by 14% compared with a year earlier. But there were bright spots, which you can read about here.

When economic prospects dim and businesses start to hurt, a common reflex is for countries to turn to politically expedient protectionist measures. But such measures backfire on everyone by closing off channels to trade and investment that recovery needs, and destroying the companies and jobs the measures intend to safeguard. They also lead to tit-for-tat reactions and a prickly international atmosphere of distrust. This OECD-WTO-UNCTAD report therefore calls on G20 governments to step up their efforts to resist protectionism and to strengthen multilateral co-operation instead.

Stopping bank default

The bank crisis that hurt our economies was not a surprise to everyone. Some economists had warned about monetary policy in a context of liberalised financial markets leading to excesses, others about pressures on financial firms to use high-risk but illiquid products that would cause problems in the event of a crisis. Still, how can we know if a bank, however large, is near a precipice? This technical new study models the distance-to-default (DTD) of a large sample of banks, in a bid to improve predictability and regulation. More...

Remember the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s? Though Asia today is in corporate governance terms almost unrecognisable from the Asia of 1997, efforts continue to reach a new higher level of ownership, shareholders and transparency, as this document explains.

One of the age-old debates among economists is how to ensure that marketplaces are not skewed in favour of public enterprises and that private firms have a real competitive chance of winning the likes of state contracts. Enter the notion of competitive neutrality, and this recent book explains how to achieve it in practice. More...

Migration and gender

Last week we highlighted a report on immigration, skills and productivity in Spain. But did you know that migrants make up roughly 3% of the world's population? That's over 200 million people who possess real and substantial resources in terms of skills and finances, meaning a boon for development and growth everywhere. What are the best policies to benefit most from immigration? This report from the OECD and French Foreign Affairs Ministry attempts some answers.

And to complete the picture, try this exploration of emigrants and their diasporas, with data culled from 140 countries, looking at the likes of family sizes, education, jobs, gender issues and more. An impressive and very user-friendly resource for anyone interested in migration, whether in studies or policymaking. More...

See also our just-updated immigration database.

Argentina headed the rankings in the 2012 Social Institutions and Gender Index, from the OECD Development Centre, a leading barometer for measuring discrimination against women in developing countries. In 2009 it stood at 5th. Latin American and Caribbean shows the lowest level of overall discrimination against women, sub-Saharan Africa the highest. China ranks 43 out of the 86 country sample. You can check this year's rankings, interactive map and index here http://www.genderindex.org/

Fish farming

And last but not least, fish: with some 30% of global fisheries overexploited or depleted, could aquaculture be a solution? More...

The Friday fish #2 ©Rory Clarke, OECD Observer, 2 November 2012 




Economic data

GDP growth: +0.6% Q2 2018 year-on-year
Consumer price inflation: 2.9% July 2018 annual
Trade: +2.7% exp, +3.0% imp, Q4 2017
Unemployment: 5.3% July 2018
Last update: 11 Sep 2018

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • The new OECD Observer Crossword, with Myles Mellor. Try it online!
  • Watch the webcast of the final press conference of the OECD annual ministerial meeting 2018.
  • Listen to the "Robots are coming for our jobs" episode of The Guardian's "Chips with Everything podcast", in which The Guardian’s economics editor, Larry Elliott, and Jeremy Wyatt, a professor of robotics and artificial intelligence at the University of Birmingham, and Jordan Erica Webber, freelance journalist, discuss the findings of the new OECD report "Automation, skills use and training". Listen here.
  • Do we really know the difference between right and wrong? Alison Taylor of BSR and Susan Hawley of Corruption Watch tell us why it matters to play by the rules. Watch the recording of our Facebook live interview here.
  • Has public decision-making been hijacked by a privileged few? Watch the recording of our Facebook live interview with Stav Shaffir, MK (Zionist Union) Chair of the Knesset Committee on Transparency here.
  • Can a nudge help us make more ethical decisions? Watch the recording of our Facebook live interview with Saugatto Datta, managing director at ideas42 here.
  • Ambassador Aleksander Surdej, Permanent Representative of Poland to the OECD, was a guest on France 24’s English-language show “The Debate”, where he discussed French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
  • The fight against tax evasion is gaining further momentum as Barbados, Côte d’Ivoire, Jamaica, Malaysia, Panama and Tunisia signed the BEPS Multilateral Convention on 24 January, bringing the total number of signatories to 78. The Convention strengthens existing tax treaties and reduces opportunities for tax avoidance by multinational enterprises.
  • Rousseau
  • Do you trust your government? The OECD’s How's life 2017 report finds that only 38% of people in OECD countries trust their government. How can we improve our old "Social contract?" Read more.
  • Papers show “past coming back to haunt us”: OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria tells Sky News that the so-called "Paradise Papers" show a past coming back to haunt us, but one which is now being dismantled. Please watch the video.
  • Globalisation’s many benefits have been unequally shared, and public policy has struggled to keep up with a rapidly-shifting world. The OECD is working alongside governments and international organisations to help improve and harness the gains while tackling the root causes of inequality, and ensuring a level playing field globally. Please watch.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .
  • Visit the OECD Gender Data Portal. Selected indicators shedding light on gender inequalities in education, employment and entrepreneurship.

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2018