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Assessing the OECD Jobs Strategy: Past Developments and Reforms

  • Nicola Brandt
  • Jean-Marc Burniaux
  • Romain Duval

In 1994, the OECD published a set of recommendations -- known as the OECD Jobs Strategy -- to deal with high and persistent unemployment that affected many member countries. These recommendations are currently being reassessed by the OECD and this paper contributes to this process. It provides a detailed description of labour market reforms in member countries over the past ten years, together with a short overview of changes in macroeconomic policies and reforms affecting product markets. It attempts to rank countries according with their past reform efforts, using an aggregate reform intensity indicator, and analyses the link, though in a very preliminary way, between reforms and labour market performance. Overall, there is little evidence of a link between initial conditions and subsequent reform efforts, with some countries taking only modest measures despite a poor starting point, while others carrying out ambitious programs even though their initial conditions were already relatively favourable. Over the past decade, member countries have employed very diverse reform strategies, from comprehensive reforms package (Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands) -- as recommended in the initial Jobs Strategy -- to reforms more narrowly targeted on specific fields where deep action was undertaken (France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Ireland). The intensity of reforms has differed markedly across policy fields, with more action being undertaken in areas that are more widely accepted by the population, such as active labour market policies and cuts of labour taxes. Please note that annexes are available on the Economics Department Website at: Évaluation de la Stratégie de l'OCDE pour l'Emploi : Évolutions et réformes entreprises dans le passé En 1994, l’OCDE a publié un ensemble de recommandations -- connu sous le nom de Stratégie de l’OCDE pour l’Emploi -- afin de remédier au chômage élevé et persistant qui affectait beaucoup de pays membres. Le Secrétariat réévalue actuellement ces recommandations, et ce document s’inscrit dans ce processus de réévaluation. Il fournit une description détaillée les réformes du marché du travail entreprises dans les pays membres au cours des dix dernières années ainsi qu’un résumé des modifications de politique macroéconomique et des réformes des marchés des produits. Il contient une tentative de classer les pays selon les efforts de réforme qu’ils ont déployés dans le passé, basée sur un indicateur agrégé d’intensité des réformes, et analyse d’une manière rudimentaire le lien entre les réformes et la performance du marché du travail. En général, il paraît difficile d’établir un lien entre les conditions initiales et l’effort de réforme déployé par la suite : certains pays n’ont entrepris que des réformes modestes malgré une mauvaise situation initiale alors que d’autres pays mettaient en œuvre des programmes de réformes ambitieux bien que leurs conditions initiales étaient déjà relativement favorables. Durant la dernière décennie, les pays membres ont utilisé des stratégies de réforme très différentes, certains (Danemark, Finlande et les Pays- Bas) mettant en œuvre des ensembles de réformes globaux (couvrant presque tous les aspects du marché du travail) -- comme il était recommandé dans la Stratégie pour l’Emploi -- alors que d’autres (France, Irlande, Italie et Royaume Uni) restreignaient leur action à des réformes ciblées sur certains aspects spécifiques du marché de l’emploi qui ont fait l’objet d’une action en profondeur. L’intensité des réformes a varié beaucoup d’un domaine à l’autre et des réformes plus importantes ont généralement été adoptées concernant des aspects bénéficiant d’un plus grand support de la population, comme les politiques actives de l’emploi et les réductions des taxes sur le travail. Veuillez noter que les annexes sont disponibles sur le site web du département des affaires économiques:

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 429.

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Date of creation: 11 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:429-en
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