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

No 11: Announcement: Tax job opportunity; Investment clouds–; –though China a bright spot; Doctorate mileage; Removing the conflict from minerals; Women's voices; R&D spending recovery likely; Did you know–; Germany's carbon price conundrum

Announcement: Tax job opportunity

The Centre for Tax Policy and Administration is seeking Intellectual Services Providers to help lead and deliver five events in the Centre's tax programme for co-operation with Non-OECD Economies. The length of each event will be five days. Applicants can submit applications for one or more events. The consultant shall not have employee status. Deadline: 22 February 2013.

Investment clouds–

One sure way of checking the state of world economic activity is to look at cross-border investment. The news is not great: in fact, global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows fell to $274 billion in the third quarter of 2012, which was a decline of 12% from the previous quarter, and a third lower than a year earlier. Read on about FDI flows, and see the data on accumulated stock too…

–though China a bright spot

China attracted the lion's share of global FDI flows in 2012, staying top of the pile for a third quarter in a row, ahead of the US, Brazil, the UK and France respectively, according to preliminary estimates.

Doctorate mileage

Has the doctorate you spent years preparing taken you where you want to go? And with doctorate awards starting to rise more rapidly than other degrees, is all the public investment worth it? To help find out, swot up on these internationally comparable indicators on the labour market, career path and mobility of doctorate holders, being developed by OECD, UNESCO and Eurostat.

Removing the conflict from minerals

"Minerals not to die for" was the title of a recent OECD Observer article on conflict minerals, drawing attention to an important international initiative to clean up mineral supply chains in Africa's Great Lakes region. It includes pointers on good practices called Due Diligence Guidance, which over 80 companies and industry associations involved in sourcing minerals from the region have been piloting. You can follow up on progress here.

Women's voices

Wikigender is gaining currency as the place for discussing and understanding gender issues globally. Its current online discussion is on preventing violence against women and girls, and will continue until 13 February. Join the discussion!

R&D spending recovery likely

Research and development, which are key to knowledge-based progress, took a knock during the crisis. However, the latest OECD estimates on Gross Expenditures on Research & Development (GERD) indicate a modest recovery.

Did you know–

– that fuel used in agriculture, fishing and forestry is often exempt from tax? Tax policies often fail to work in tandem with efforts to battle climate change. And in today's crisis, environmentally-related taxes could help improve public finances. A new OECD report Taxing Energy Use provides a systematic and comparative analysis of energy taxes in the 34 OECD countries.

Germany's carbon price conundrum

In the environmental policy field, Germany has a reputation for leading by example, and as an industrial powerhouse, so it has to. But the challenges are not easy. Take carbon pricing, which has become so complex as to risk backfiring against the very efforts being made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the first place. To understand the issues, see this working paper: "Towards Consistent and Effective Carbon Pricing in Germany?"

The Friday fish #11 ©OECD Observer, 8 February 2013