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OECD: Better Life Initiative


For years overall economic and societal progress of nations has been measured through GDP. While GDP remains a useful proxy of a country’s macroeconomic health, its inadequacy to measure people’s lives and well-being has grown uncontested and led countries to deploy massive efforts to build new data and initiatives that capture what really matters to people. The OECD has played a central role in this movement supporting many countries of the world in their ambition to generate more meaningful metrics of well-being and progress and to embed these metrics in everyday public policies.


Since 2011 the OECD also produces well-being evidence and analysis on a regular basis through its Better Life Initiative, and mainstreams well-being in a growing numbers of its policy instruments. If well-being is today at the centre of policy-making, should it also have a role in business, one of the major actors in society? In this paper we argue that business has a strong impact on people’s well-being not only in today’s terms and within the national boundaries of one country, but also on well-being in the future and across multiple territories. However, a big research agenda lies ahead of us in terms of capturing these impacts in a more precise fashion and with data that are able to tell us what are the best business practices for enhancing people’s well-being.




Better Life Initiative: Measuring Well-Being and Progress   Are our lives getting better? How can policies improve our lives? Are we measuring the right things? The OECD Better Life Initiative and the work programme on Measuring Well-Being and Progress answer these questions. They allow understanding what drives well-being of people and nations and what needs to be done to achieve greater progress for all. 


Better Life Index: This Index allows you to compare well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.

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