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Labour Market and Social Policies in the Baltic Countries (Complete Edition - ISBN 9264100067)

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Abstract:



The Baltic States - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - have made impressive progress since the early 1990s. They have now almost completed their preparations for accession to the EU. Most elements of labour market and social policy have been thoroughly reformed over the past decade. However, several difficult policy questions need to be addressed in response to changing economic conditions. This OECD Policy Review analyses the key issues facing each country given its specific economic and social trends. It draws both positive and negative policy lessons from OECD experience. It also identifies Baltic policy initiatives, such as pension reforms, which are more advanced than those adopted in most OECD countries.

Facing high unemployment, modest incomes and more unequal income distributions than many European countries, Baltic policy makers have limited room for manoeuvre. In employment policy, a paramount goal must be to improve the institutional framework for innovation and job creation. Social spending needs to be contained because taxes and social insurance contributions are relatively high, placing a heavy burden on employment.

This report provides detailed information and policy recommendations in five topical areas: labour law; "active" and "passive" labour market policies; pension reform; long-term care of the elderly; and social assistance benefits as a last resort.

This publication is part of the OECD's ongoing co-operation with non-member economies around the world.

Page Count: 177

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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