Economic Policy Reforms 2006

Going for Growth

image of Economic Policy Reforms 2006

Across the OECD, governments are seeking to undertake structural reforms to strengthen their economic growth. Going for Growth 2006 takes stock of the progress made in implementing policy reforms to improve labour productivity and utilisation that were identified as priorities in the 2005 edition.  It also provides comparative indicators covering structural policy areas such as labour markets, education and product market regulation. Graphs and tables in this publication include StatLinks, URLs which provide the reader with Excel spreadsheets of individual graphs and tables.

A special feature of Going for Growth 2006 is the focus on innovation, which  is a key driver of economic growth. It provides comparative indicators on performance and relevant policies in this area, and country-specific policy recommendations for each OECD country to improve innovation performance.  This issue contains two analytical chapters covering regulation of financial systems and economic growth and alternatives to GDP as a measure of well-being.

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Alternative Measures of Well-being

This chapter assesses if GDP per capita can serve as a reasonable proxy of overall well-being. Other national accounts measures are arguably better suited for this purpose but they are not as readily available and are in any case closely correlated with GDP in most OECD countries. Illustrative calculations to “extend” GDP to include leisure time, the sharing of income within households and distributional concerns suggest that cross-country ranking based on these indicators and GDP per capita are generally similar. Across OECD countries, levels of most measures of specific social conditions are positively related to GDP per capita while changes over time are not. However, survey-based data on happiness and life satisfaction across OECD countries are only weakly related to levels of GDP per capita. Overall, GDP per capita remains critical for any assessment of well-being but needs to be complemented with other

measures to get a comprehensive picture of well-being.

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