This chapter examines the factors that could explain shortages and labour surpluses. The relationship between the shortage indicators and other indicators in the 19 countries is analysed. While the emphasis is on the nine major occupational group indicators, some analysis is done for detailed occupations such as college and university professionals. FACTORS AFFECTING SHORTAGES In order to systematically measure differences across countries in institutions, policies, demographics and economic conditions, variables compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (Em)(2001) were used. They compiled hundreds of indicators for many countries including the 19 included in this study. The variables fall into six general categories: 1. Macroeconomic indicators 2. Demographics and health 3. Consumer markets and income 4. Infrastructure 5. Competitiveness 6 . Politics, institutions and regulations. Within each of these broad groups there are sub-groups and within each sub-group there are individual indicators. For example, within the group ‘politics, institutions and regulations’ there are seven sub-groups: 1. EIU business environment ratings 2. Private enterprise 3. Labour market 4. Tax regime 5. Financing 6. Foreign trade and exchange 7. Policy toward foreign investment. Within the sub-group ‘labour market’ there are five measures: 1. Industrial relations 2. Restrictiveness of labour laws 3. Wage regulation 4. Hiring of foreign nationals 5. Working days lost to strikes. 59 60 Global Skill Shortages Since the emphasis of this book is on the labour market, more attention was paid to labour market factors affecting shortages than to other factors. For example, consumer market and income factors (such as fish...
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