Friday, January 29, 2010

New OECD Reports

Just before Christmas the OECD released a number of important reports.

OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2009

At a time when world economy is in the midst of the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression, the Scoreboard provides the statistical information necessary to define a response to these global challenges. This edition of the Scoreboard illustrates and analyses a wide set of indicators of science, technology, globalisation and industrial performance in OECD and major non OECD countries (notably Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa). Indicators are organized around five issues: responding to the economic crisis, targeting new growth areas, competing in the world economy, connecting to global research, and investing in the knowledge economy.


This book has a bit of a new look and some interesting new analyses. Readers may be drawn to the opening chapter on the economic crisis and the section on emerging research fields.

OECD: Regions Matter: Economic Recovery, Innovation and Sustainable Growth

Why do some regions grow faster than others, and in ways that do not always conform to economic theory? This is a central issue in today’s economic climate, when policy makers are looking for ways to stimulate new and sustainable growth.OECD work suggests that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to regional growth policy. Rather, regions grow in very varied ways and the simple concentration of resources in a place is not sufficient for long-term growth. This report draws on OECD analysis of regional data (including where growth happens, country-by-country), policy reviews and case studies. It argues that it is how investments are made, regional assets used and synergies exploited that can make the difference. Public investment should prioritize longer-term impacts on productivity growth and combine measures in an integrated way. This suggests an important role for regional policies in shaping growth and economic recovery policies, but also challenges policy makers to implement policy reforms.

This is a really important report and I haven't read it closely enough yet to comment, however, some key messages include.
  • Across all OECD countries, regions vary greatly in per capita income levels and growthrates; there are few signs that they are becoming more similar.
  • Urban areas tend to have higher income levels than rural regions, but not necessarily higher growth rates; there is no consistent relationship between urban concentration and economic performance.
 The report contains a range of easily accessible statistics and innovative graphics (3D maps).

OECD: Innovation and Growth: Chasing a Moving Frontier

Innovation is crucial to long-term economic growth, even more so in the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis. In this volume, the OECD and the World Bank jointly take stock of how globalization is posing new challenges for innovation and growth in both developed and developing countries, and how countries are coping with them. The authors discuss options for policy initiatives that can foster technological innovation in the pursuit of faster and sustainable growth. The various chapters highlight how the emergence of an integrated global market affects the impact of national innovation policy. What seemed like effective innovation strategies (e.g. policies designed to strengthen the R&D capacity of domestic firms) are no longer sufficient for effective catch-up. The more open and global nature of innovation makes innovation policies more difficult to design and implement at the national scale alone. These challenges are further complicated by new phenomena, such as global value chains and the fragmentation of production, the growing role of global corporations, and the ICT revolution. Where and why a global corporation chooses to anchor its production affects the playing field for OECD and developing economies alike.

Some interesting material, but this book is a collection of papers from a conference the OECD and World Bank ran.

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