OECD Statistics Working Papers

The OECD Statistics Working Paper Series - managed by the OECD Statistics and Data Directorate – is designed to make available in a timely fashion and to a wider readership selected studies prepared by staff in the Secretariat or by outside consultants working on OECD projects. The papers included are of a technical, methodological or statistical policy nature and relate to statistical work relevant to the organisation. The Working Papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

Joint Working Papers:

Testing the evidence, how good are public sector responsiveness measures and how to improve them? (with OECD Public Governance Directorate)

Measuring Well-being and Progress in Countries at Different Stages of Development: Towards a More Universal Conceptual Framework (with OECD Development Centre)

Measuring and Assessing Job Quality: The OECD Job Quality Framework (with OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs)

Forecasting GDP during and after the Great Recession: A contest between small-scale bridge and large-scale dynamic factor models (with OECD Economics Directorate)

Decoupling of wages from productivity: Macro-level facts (with OECD Economics Directorate)

Which policies increase value for money in health care? (with OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs)

Compiling mineral and energy resource accounts according to the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) 2012 (with OECD Environment Directorate)


The economy of well-being

Creating opportunities for people’s well-being and economic growth

As well-being has matured as a statistical and measurement agenda, it has become increasingly relevant as a “compass” for policy, with a growing number of countries using well-being metrics to guide decision-making and inform budgetary processes. One remaining challenge has consisted in providing policy-makers with a better understanding of the linkages between the drivers of well-being and economic growth. This paper develops the concept of an “Economy of Well-being” as a basis for highlighting these linkages and showing how policy can most effectively leverage them. The paper defines an economy of well-being around the idea of a “virtuous circle” in which individual well-being and long-term economic growth are mutually reinforcing. It also explores the characteristics of an economy of well-being and the conditions under which it can be sustained. Secondly, based on a survey of existing empirical evidence, the paper contributes to outline how economies of well-being can be built. It provides analysis of several important channels through which economic growth and well-being support and reinforce one another, focusing on the multidimensional impact of policies in four areas that research has shown to be important for well-being: Education and Skills; Health; Social Protection and Redistribution; and Gender Equality.


Keywords: multidimensional analysis, social investment, equality of opportunity, policy linkages, well-being
JEL: I38: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs; I24: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education and Inequality; I14: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health and Inequality; D61: Microeconomics / Welfare Economics / Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
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