The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming how we think about our economies and our societies. The policy choices governments make today will determine their success in building a transition to a greener, more inclusive and more resilient tomorrow. It is an opportunity to chart a path that empowers everyone to face the future with confidence.
Young people with disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to perform well at school and are more likely to lack the necessary tools for digital learning. A lack of parental support and an inadequate space for studying means some children are less likely to pursue higher education and training.
How can governments close the gap?
Educational professionals must safeguard access and quality of learning. Ensuring all young people have the right tools and guidance to succeed is vital: a greater use of digital learning tools should avoid widening existing inequalities.
Young people are our leaders of tomorrow. They must take the lead on the path to a future that is more prosperous, more equitable and more resilient. Yet the economic effects of COVID-19 have hit the young hard.
How can young people become the driving force for change after COVID-19?
Biodiversity loss is a threat to the provision of basic goods, including food, water, medicine and fuel – and is one of the biggest risks the world economy faces today.
Economic policy instruments – or positive incentives – can offset negative externalities as part of countries' biodiversity objectives, signalling to producers and consumers the need to be more environmentally-sustainable. The number of countries using such instruments, however, has not markedly increased in the last decade.
How effective are these instruments? And how can fiscal, economic and trade policies better incorporate biodiversity objectives into decision-making?
See the latest biodiversity policy guide for Finance, Economic and Environment ministers.
The food, travel and entertainment sectors are expected to be those hardest hit because of pandemic containment measures.
The capacity of industries to adapt, the resilience of supply chains and the digital skills of workers have been put to the test by COVID-19. The negative economic effects have been widespread, but far from global.
How can different industries prepare for future shocks? What lessons can they learn from the past year? How should we think about productivity, digital innovation and skills?
"Strengthening Economic Resilience Following the COVID-19 Crisis", a new publication from the OECD, explores these and other questions.
Recognising the vital economic role smaller companies play, countries such as France, Germany and Italy suspended bankruptcy rules for part of 2020 as the COVID-19 crisis hit.
This gave entrepreneurs and SMEs the vital support they needed to withstand a massive economic shock – resulting in lower levels of insolvency 2020 and 2021, compared to 2019.
However, government support has been less effective at reaching self-employed, smaller and younger firms, women and entrepreneurs from minorities. Policy makers should seek to redress this in the future.