4th PIAAC International Conference


The 4th PIAAC International Conference provides a critical platform for international delegates to debate and share insights on highly relevant topics we are encountering in a rapidly evolving global economic environment, including how well-equipped labour forces are to embrace the rapid change, and the role of adult learning in the upgrading and re-skilling of workers.

Organised by OECD in collaboration with IAL, this conference, using PIAAC data to address policy concerns, was held in Singapore on 21-23 November 2017.

Click below to view the conference agenda. 


Richard Desjardins is a Professor of Political Economy of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He previously worked at the OECD between 2010-2013 on PIAAC and the Skills Strategy, and was Associate Professor in Comparative Social Science at Aarhus University in Denmark between 2005-2010. He has been involved in large scale assessments of adult skills for nearly 20 years, contributing to the international analysis of the 1994-1998 International Adult Literacy Survey, the 2003-2007 Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey and PIAAC. He has also been involved in education policy analysis related to education governance and provision structures, educational access and participation, learning outcomes and the impact of learning on economy and society for over 15 years. His most recent book, Political Economy of Adult Learning Systems published by Bloomsbury, provides a comparative analysis of the PIAAC data on adult learning.

Sara de la Rica is full Professor of Economics at the University of the Basque Country (Spain). Since 2007, she is Associate Fellow at FEDEA (Spanish Foundation for Applied Economics), as well as of other international Research Institutes, such as CReAM, located in London, and IZA, located in Bonn. She has been President of the European Society for Population Economics (ESPE) in 2012. From 2012 to 2016, Sara has been  Co-editor of the Academic Journal IZA Journal of European Studies. Her field of research is primarily focused on the empirical analysis of the Labour Market. She has published in many international leading academic journals. Her most prominent publications concern labour market aspects regarding gender, immigration and Labour Market Institutions. For the last years, unemployment in Spain has been one of the topics she has been particularly focused on. The complete list of her publications can be found in her personal website: www.saradelarica.com

Violeta Domínguez is the Coordinator of the Inclusion and Gender Equality Division at CAF - Development Bank of Latin America. Prior to this position, she worked as a consultant on gender projects for different organizations and was the Director of the Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECID) in Angola, Mozambique, Congo and Uruguay. Mrs. Domínguez also worked for 8 years at the United Nations Development Program, where she focused on gender development programs. She holds a degree in Sociology and Psychology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Human Resources from ICADE and Development Planning and Public Policies from ECLAC- CEPAL.

Anna Vignoles is Professor of Education and Director of Research at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and a trustee of the Nuffield Foundation. Anna has extensive experience of using large scale administrative and survey data to study factors relating to outcomes from education. She has published widely on the prevalence of basic skills in the population and their impact on individuals’ labour market success. Her research interests include issues pertaining to equity in education, school choice, school efficiency and finance, higher education and the economic value of skills. Anna has advised numerous UK government departments, including the Department for Education. 

Johnny Sung is the centre director of the Centre for Skills Performance and Productivity (CSPP) in the Institute for Adult Learning Singapore (IAL). He is an international expert in the areas of comparative analysis in national workforce development systems and the role of skills in high performance working organisations. He established the CSPP in IAL, and runs a wide range of research projects at CSPP ranging from skills research, e.g. on skills utilisation, adult competencies, high performance working and organisational talent, with large national samples to small projects that evaluate the impact of workforce development policy. Johnny is also Honorary Professor at the University of Cardiff (UK) and Visiting Professor at the University College London (UK). Prior to his appointment at IAL, Johnny was Professor of Skills and Performance at the Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester (UK). He has acted as advisor to the World Bank, OECD, ILO, UK's Prime Minister's Office, UK CIPD and Pfizer (Ireland). His recent book (co-author with Prof David Ashton), “Skills in Business: the role of business strategy, sectoral skills development and skills policy” is published by Sage Publications in Nov 2014.

Aviana Bulgarelli is director of research at the Italian Institute of Public Policy Analysis (INAPP) and chair of the EU Governments’ Group of the European Foundation for Working and Living Conditions’ (Eurofound) Governing Board. She is an international expert in the areas of employment, skills and VET policy analyses. As co-chair of the OECD-PIAAC Board of Participating Countries and member of the OECD Skills Strategy Advisory Group she is contributing to the strategic approach of the second cycle of PIACC as well as to the comprehensive OECD Skills Strategy. Relevant European Union policies like “New Skills for New Jobs” and the “Enhanced cooperation in VET” have been designed with her contribution. She has been Cedefop’s Director and gave to the European Agency a new start and a key role in skills analysis and forecasting. Previously she was Director General for Vocational Training and Guidance at the Italian Ministry of Labour. During her long experience as a researcher and research director she developed original contributions to scientific research, policy analysis and evaluation in the field of skills, employment and VET at national, European and international level. She has authored or co-authored several papers and books.

Beatrice Rammstedt is professor of Psychological Assessment, Survey Design and Methodology at the University of Mannheim and also scientific director of the department Survey, Design and Methodology as well as vice president at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. She is highly experienced with the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). For one, Beatrice Rammstedt is a member of the international consortium for PIAAC cycle I and was national project manager for its German implementation. Furthermore, she is principal investigator of the national PIAAC-Longitudinal study (PIAAC-L) which follows the PIAAC respondents over three additional waves of data collection, and of several other PIAAC-related studies. Dr Rammstedt is member of several advisory boards, such as the OECD expert panel on the measurement of personality traits and non-cognitive skills in PIAAC, the advisory group "Framework Programme Educational Research" and of the scientific advisory board of the "Decade for Literacy" – both launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (BMBF). She has authored or co-authored more than 100 papers which are highly perceived by the research community (≈ 3,750 citations). Her research interests include issues from questionnaire design and validation to assessing non-cognitive skills (special focus on Big Five personality dimensions) to the methodology of cultural comparative large-scale studies. For detailed information on CV and bibliography see: beatrice.rammstedt



  • What does PIAAC say about skills and digitalisation?

    Download (PDF,3.8MB)
  • Cross-national patterns associated with adult learning systems: Patterns of participation, outcomes and coordination

    Download (PDF,1MB)
  • From Gender Skill Gaps to Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from PIAAC

    Download (PDF,0.9MB)
  • The financial skills of adults across the world. New estimates from PIAAC

  • The Job Quality Index from PIAAC – Singapore and International Comparisons

    Download (PDF,0.5MB)
  • Beyond literacy – the incremental value of non-cognitive skills in PIAAC

    The presentation will not be available online as it contains unpublished results. Interested participants may contact the author directly or read the corresponding OECD working paper that will be finalized shortly.

  • Personality, cognitive skills and earnings: evidence from the Polish follow-up study on PIAAC

    Download (PDF,1.3MB)
  • Work organisation and workforce vulnerability to non-employment: evidence from OECD’s survey on adult skills (PIAAC)

    Download (PDF,0.7MB)
  • Cognitive Skills and Labor Market Returns to Field of Study among Higher Education Graduates

    Download (PDF,0.7MB)
  • Projecting literacy skills using microsimulation models: tools to better inform social and immigration policies

    Download (PDF,0.8MB)
  • How can the task approach be measured? A new approach using the PIAAC

    Download (PDF,1.7MB)
  • Vocational vs. General Education and Employment over the Life-Cycle: New Evidence from PIAAC

    Download (PDF,1MB)
  • The global distribution of routine and non-routine work. Findings from PIAAC, STEP & CULS

    Download (PDF,1MB)
  • Much Ado About Non-Economic Outcomes? Skill effort, mismatches, and their relation with job satisfaction and social outcomes

    Download (PDF,0.7MB)
  • Development accounting using PIAAC data

    Download (PDF,0.3MB)
  • Developing a digital literacy scale and measuring digital divide using PIAAC data

    Download (PDF,0.4MB)


About OECD

The OECD is a forum in which governments compare and exchange policy experiences, identify good practices in light of emerging challenges, and promote decisions and recommendations to produce better policies for better lives. The OECD’s mission is to promote policies that improve economic and social well-being of people around the world.

For details about the Directorate for Education and Skills, please visit here.


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