The Friday fish

This week’s haul from behind the headlines at
OECD Observer

No 18: Progress report; Transport blues; Mexican informality; Tackling development; Adolescent puzzle; Employment climate; Digital skills 

Progress report

Tracking progress and well-being and looking beyond GDP? Wikiprogress, another OECD initiative, is a place where progress and well-being data and research articles can be loaded, visualised, analysed and shared. The 2012 Wikiprogress annual report is now out.

Transport blues

Transport is a great leading indicator of economic performance. Once this writer asked two Texan oil merchants how they forecast the economy: they had someone sit on the coast and click a counter as the tankers went by. If traffic increased, the economy was pointing up. There were no erratic movements, just smooth trends up, then down. According to the latest trends in the International Transport Forum bulletin, those Texans are probably not that happy right now.

Mexican informality

In recent years the informal sector has been rising in many Mexican states, though to varying degrees, meaning more people working without declared income for tax or social protection. Informal employment can dampen productivity and economic growth while fuelling inequality. This paper by Sean Dougherty and Octavio Escobar looks at some of the causes driving the trend in Mexico.

Tackling development

Remember the Millennium Development Goals? These were devised at the turn of the century in a concerted global effort to reach ambitious targets, such as halving poverty and boosting education among girls, with the timeline of 2015 now  fast approaching. It’s clear that most of the goals have not been achieved, and that another tack may now be needed to address development issues. What might a post-2015 agenda look like? OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría outlined some ideas at the recent Global Forum on Development

Adolescent puzzle

Could discrimination against girls be connected with the impact of discriminating social norms on boys? This is one of the questions raised in this online discussion on how adolescent girls can play a role in bolstering development initiatives, organised by the OECD’s Wikigender project in partnership with several other bodies, including the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Research Network (HBSC) and Plan (UK).

Employment climate

How does climate change affect employment? The answer could be  more positive than you think, this study finds. Skills are in important part of the answer too.

Digital skills

Skills also matter to OECD education expert, Andreas Schleicher, who argues in this post that the skills that are easiest to teach and test are also the skills that are easiest to digitise, automate and outsource.

The Friday fish #18 ©OECD Observer, 19 April 2013

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