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African Economic Outlook 2015/OECD

The financial landscape has changed considerably in Africa since 2000. Private external flows in the form of investment and remittances now drive growth in external finance, according to the African Economic Outlook 2015. Foreign investments are expected to reach US$73.5 billion in 2015, underpinned by increasing greenfield investment from China, India and South Africa.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions worldwide have been trending upwards for decades. A small group of large countries is responsible for the lion’s share of these global emissions.

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In tackling climate change, it makes sense for policymakers to know which sectors greenhouse-gas emissions are coming from. Our chart shows the main sources for European carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, including electricity supply, manufacturing, households and transportation. Household emissions are largely generated from fossil fuel energy used to heat dwellings, but some of the other industry sources are more complex.

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World leaders have just endorsed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comprising some 169 targets. To have a chance of reaching them, we must also meet another goal: improving our data. 

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People in the OECD area are living longer and healthier lives. Improved lifestyles are one reason, as are better medical treatments. But could the number of doctors also be a contributing factor?

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Click here for the latest economic indicators by country. 

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Unequal pay between men and women continues to pose problems, despite decades of legislation by governments to address it, like the Equal Pay Act in the United States and the French labour code on wage equality introduced about half a century ago. In fact, not only are women still paid considerably less than men throughout the world, but UN predictions suggest the gap will persist for 70 years to come.  

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Are digital tools simplifying our interactions with public authorities? From document browsing to downloading of forms as well as administrative procedures, governments in most of OECD countries now offer a wide range of online services. 

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The GDP growth story over the past year or two has been one of diverging trends, with relative buoyancy returning to economies such as Sweden, the UK and the US, but with the euro area still looking off colour. How have the crisis and subsequent economic growth patterns affected the actual size of each country’s economy compared to 2007? Have OECD countries recovered their pre-crisis levels of GDP? 

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A litre of diesel has around 10% more combustion energy than petrol, but produces roughly 18% more CO2 emissions. 

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©OECD Observer No 301, Q4 2014

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Did you know that the pace of productivity growth is slowing sharply across the OECD area? Moreover, the trend has continued downward since the early 2000s after a brief upward tick in the 1980s and 1990s, which in part reflected the diffusion of new information and communications technologies

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Case studies of specific products, particularly in the electronics industry, show that value creation along a global value chain tends to be unevenly distributed among activities. 

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People are by far the most important input when building quality education. So it is little surprise that teachers’ salaries represent the largest single cost item in the labour intensive education system. Salaries and working conditions play an important role in attracting, motivating and retaining skilled teachers. Teachers are the backbone of the education sector which is a crucial determinant of productivity and growth.

If you feel like happiness is the truth, you might be well poised to stop clapping along with Pharrell Williams, and start seeking out a new place to settle up north. While Switzerland topped the list of the happiest OECD countries in 2012, the high ranks were dominated by the Nordic circle of Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark.

Dementia is a devastating condition for which there is no cure available. Care is costly, financially and emotionally. The cost for health systems is likely to rise in ageing societies. The condition damages the brain, and leads to a decline in a person’s functional and cognitive capabilities.

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The OECD does not see deflation taking hold in the euro area, but the risk has risen.

The total number of deaths attributed to airborne pollution continues to decrease across the OECD world, largely thanks to regulatory policies for transport vehicle emissions and technological improvements. Between 2005 and 2010, pollution-related mortalities fell by 4% from approximately 498,000 cases a year, to just over 478,000. But a closer look reveals a more worrying picture. Outside of the EU, only the US and Israel have successfully attained reductions in deaths, while 14 other member countries–including Australia, Canada and Japan–actually recorded an increase in the absolute number of mortalities.

Immigration became a heated subject of debate during the European Parliament elections in May 2014. Economists are now asking whether anti-immigrant sentiment can be attributed to fiscal, as well as social, factors.

The River Seine overflowing its banks is not an uncommon sight in Paris, as the winter catchment swells, causing water levels to rise and cover the lower banks, jetties and walkways. 

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While today Japan is one of the world’s largest and most advanced economies, a member of the G7 and the most developed country in Asia, in 1964 the picture was quite different.

Small and medium-sized enterprises refers to firms of up to 250 workers each, but did you know that these so-called SMEs make up some 90% of employment in the OECD area? 

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Some 18% of the total OECD arable and permanent cropland area was sown with transgenic crops in the period including 2008 to 2010.

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