OECD Observer
The Friday fish
Another haul from behind the headlines at OECD.org and beyond

No 19: For immigrant students, early arrival is best; Tackling inequality and poverty in the US; Back to school after a disaster; CO2 innovation; Cleaning up supply chains; Competing for knowledge-based capital 

For immigrant students, early arrival is best

Immigrant students do best at school the younger they arrive in a country, surveys show. According to this Education Today blog post, immigrants who arrived in their new country before age 12 hold up pretty well at school, but those 12 and older lag behind and have problems catching up. This “late-arrival penalty” can mean higher costs in remedial assistance later on. A good reason for migration policymakers to think hard before delaying family reunification!

Tackling inequality and poverty in the US

Income inequality and relative poverty in the US are among the highest in the OECD and have worsened in recent decades. What’s the cause and what can be done? This working paper, which is part of the Public Policies for Inclusive Growth series, expores some answers.

Back to school after a disaster

Natural disasters can wipe everything away, including the likes of education systems which took years to develop. Can they be rebuilt? Yes, says the OECD's Andreas Schleicher who,  in this piece for the BBC, describes efforts in Japan two years after the tsunami and nuclear accident in Fukushima.

CO2 innovation

Here's a call for papers for a major conference in February 2014: under the banner of "green skills and innovation for inclusive employment growth" the organizers want to hear from people who can constructively answer these questions: Can low carbon activities be key to competitive and inclusive growth? What are the new approaches for strategic policy coordination for a low carbon economy? To find out more, go here.

Cleaning up supply chains

If you are concerned about conflict minerals and dubious supply chains, this web page on due diligence will point you to useful resources. It contains detailed recommendations for implementing responsible supply chains of minerals to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through business decisions. For any company potentially sourcing minerals or metals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

Competing for knowledge-based capital

We live in a knowledge society, and knowledge-based capital has emerged as the driver of  innovation and investment in today's economies. It encompasses the likes of computerised information, scientific processes, business methods, and firm-specific know-how. But policymakers must also get some basics right, such as competition policy and competition law enforcement, and understanding mergers between knowledge-based firms and what that does to innovation. Dense stuff, but worth wading through. 

The Friday fish #19 ©OECD Observer, 14 June 2013