While an expanding majority of OECD countries have finally closed the massive jobs gap that opened during the Great Recession of 2008‑09, people in a number of countries are expressing rising dissatisfaction with core economic policies, including the promotion of international trade and investment. The populist backlash against globalisation challenges the policy advice offered by international organisations like the OECD, which have long emphasised the benefits of global integration. In view of the growing scepticism about policy orthodoxy, it is important to reassess economic policy stances, including which choices labour market policy makers have got more or less right and which they have got wrong and where a change of approach is required. While a definitive assessment is not yet available, it is already clear that many of the concerns underpinning the backlash against globalisation and trade are real and that they highlight areas where employment, skills and social protection policies need to be reinforced and adapted to a changing economic environment.
Over recent decades, the global economy has experienced a profound transformation, mostly as a result of the joint forces of trade integration and technological progress, accompanied by important political changes. Increased trade integration has helped to drive economic growth in both high- and low-income economies, lifting millions out of poverty in emerging and developing countries. … Continue reading