OECD Observer
The Friday fish
A weekly catch from behind the headlines on oecd.org

No 8: Gender forum; IT does it better; Homeownership; Options matter; Data warehouse; Turning down the heat; Managing disasters; Feeding West Africa; Fruit and veg 

Gender forum

Gender issues will occupy minds on this Monday 17 December when OECD ministers join business, unions, NGOs and experts at the OECD Gender Forum in Paris on 17 December 2012

IT does it better

Firms that incorporate information and communications technologies (ICT) into the workplace are quicker to pick up on innovations and benefit from the productivity gains that they deliver. But are ICT firms actually more innovative themselves? Vincenzo Spiezia of the OECD asked this question and the results may surprise you. More...


Rates of homeownership have been on the increase in recent decades. While much of this increase can be explained by demographic factors like age, income and education, there is apparently another unrelated factor influencing this phenomenon. Could public policy changes be the missing factor? Dan Andrews and Aida Caldera Sánchez think this may very well be it. More...

Options matter

Financial market asset prices have been volatile of late, but maybe there's a way to measure market uncertainty and investors' expectations. From the fall of Lehman Bros to the present, financial analysts will appreciate this method using option prices explained by Josep Maria Puigvert and Eleanna Delatola from the European Central Bank. It’s on page 13 of the latest OECD Statistics Newsletter. More...

Data warehouse

The OECD's data warehouse is a user-friendly way of getting at our real time statistics and trends. Called OECD.Stat Extracts, you can search by key word or the FAQ data on the left. Then you can grab your data, customise it, export it and more....

Turning down the heat

In a new working paper entitled Testing the Effects on the Thermostat Settings of OECD Employees, it was found that a decrease in the default settings on office thermostats could lead to an overall reduction in the chosen setting by an average of 0.38°C. The results showed that people were more likely to adjust to the new temperature than turn up the heat. More…

Managing disasters

The financial cost of disasters and their effect on economic activity can be enormous: over 1% of GDP on average in Chile in 1980-2011, 0.2% in the US. A new G20-OECD framework could help governments build strategies for better risk management in such extreme cases. More...

Feeding West Africa

The population of West Africa is set to double by 2050. Are the countries concerned capable of meeting the challenge of feeding such a fast-growing population? This analysis by the West African Futures programme provides some insights.

Fruit and veg

Did you know that the OECD is the main worldwide reference for certifying quality standards of fruit and vegetables? And seeds and tractors too! Food for thought as you look forward to a healthy Christmas dinner. More...

Gender forumIT does it betterHomeownership; Options matterData warehouseTurning down the heatManaging disastersFeeding West Africa; Fruit and veg

The Friday fish will be back in 2013. Till then, happy trawlin'!

The Friday fish #8 ©OECD Observer, 13 December 2012