Iceland is the OECD's fastest growing economy. It has made a remarkable turnaround from the crisis, helped by booming tourism, prudent economic policies and a favourable external environment. Iceland has an egalitarian society with strong trade unions, very low inequality and high gender balance. Nevertheless, as a very small open economy Iceland is prone to boom and bust cycles. Prudent fiscal and monetary policy are warranted in the current economic boom. The spectacular growth in tourist numbers has provided new jobs, boosted tax revenues and attracted currency inflows, but there are some growing pains with social pressures emerging. Growing tourist numbers are putting pressure on the environment, infrastructure and housing. Furthermore, the strengthening krana has created difficulties for other internationally-exposed sectors. Iceland is the most highly unionised OECD country and the wage-bargaining system has contributed to high living standards and an inclusive society. Nevertheless, recent disruptive strikes and high wage awards have intensified inflationary pressures and threaten competiveness. Fostering trust among the social partners and increasing wage coordination would make collective bargaining more effective and help sustain the benefits of the system for future generations.
The OECD is an international organization that consists of 30 Member countries from the developed world that accept the principles of representative democracy and free market economy. It originated in 1948 as the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) to help administer the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Later its membership was extended to non-European states, and in 1961 it was reformed into the OECD. The organization provides a forum where governments can compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice and co-ordinate domestic and international policies. With active relationships with some 70 other countries and economies, NGOs and civil society, the organization has a global reach. Renowned for its publications and statistics, its work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics, to trade, education, environment, development and science and innovation.
Release date NZ
July 6th, 2017
Edited by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Country of Publication
col. figs, tables
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)