2013 OECD Economic Surveys: Austria 2013

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Austria 2013

OECD's 2013 Economic Survey of Austria examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. This issue's special chapters cover long-term well-being.

English Also available in: French

Responding to key well-being challenges

Important challenges for the future of Austrian well-being arise from demographic and environmental trends, which make both synergies and trade-offs between well-being dimensions more prominent. The ageing of the population calls for a fair balance between life-time pension contributions and entitlements, drawing on the recent pension reform. Such progress will allowAustrians to make more informed choices between the length of their work and contribution periods and retirement length and income according to their preferences, without threatening fiscal sustainability. With female labour force participation rising, family policies should help reconcile equality of opportunity within families by promoting the availability, affordability and quality of support services. A growing share of immigrant groups with low human capital calls for remedial policies to preserve social cohesion, which requires stepping up efforts to promote human capital formation, fostering synergies between material and non-material sources of well-being for all. Environmental pressures arise from urban sprawl and the strong expansion of road transport. Urban sprawl increases the risk of floods and endangers biodiversity, while road traffic’s contribution to air pollution is significant with adverse health effects. Turning around these environmental trends will require more appropriate pricing of the externalities and better regional development policies to foster denser settlements that are well connected to public transport. This entails a need to strengthen co-ordination between different government layers and better integration of regional development with transport and housing policies to foster policy consistency.

English Also available in: French


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