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Austria's Well-being Goes Beyond GDP

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  • Oliver Röhn
  • Rauf Gönenç
  • Christian Beer
  • Romina Boarini

Abstract

Austria enjoys strong material well-being and high quality of life. Steady convergence with top GDP per capita levels translated into decisive improvements in household disposable incomes while significant redistribution has ensured low income inequality and poverty. This has been combined with gains in leisure time, especially time spent in retirement, low unemployment, high environmental standards, rising life expectancy, a well-functioning social support network and high subjective well-being. This performance was achieved with a unique combination of supportive conditions for a dynamic business sector, priority for family based care, a wide supply of public services, and a well-functioning social partnership. Particularly remarkable for a small open economy has been the degree of stability, which may have contributed to Austria’s high quality of life. However, a number of weaknesses also exist. Older, unskilled and in particular people with migrant background, have lower labour market attachments. Outcomes in education and health care are subject to inequalities. Family services are still mainly carried out by women, who have closed the gap in education attainment with men but face tensions between work and family responsibilities and a high wage gap. The gaps experienced by people with migrant background are in several dimensions larger than in the average OECD country. This Working Paper relates to the 2013 OECD Economic Survey of Austria (http://www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/austria-2013.htm). En Autriche, le bien-être ne se limite pas au PIB En Autriche, le bien-être matériel et la qualité de vie sont élevés. Un mouvement constant de convergence vers un PIB par habitant élevé a permis une nette amélioration du revenu disponible des ménages. Parallèlement, une redistribution importante a permis que les inégalités de revenu et le taux de pauvreté soient faibles. À cela s’ajoutent une augmentation du temps disponible pour les loisirs, en particulier du temps passé à la retraite, un faible taux de chômage, une bonne qualité de l’environnement, un allongement de l’espérance de vie et un bien-être subjectif élevé. L’Autriche doit ces résultats à un modèle unique en son genre, qui associe des conditions favorables au dynamisme du secteur privé, une priorité accordée à la prise en charge familiale, une offre développée de services publics et un système de partenariat social efficace. Un certain nombre de faiblesses existent cependant. Ainsi, les travailleurs âgés et non qualifiés et, surtout, les personnes issues de l’immigration, sont plus éloignés du marché du travail. On observe des inégalités dans les résultats en matière d’éducation et de santé. Les services aux familles restent dans une large mesure l’apanage des femmes, qui, malgré la résorption de l’écart de niveau d’instruction avec les hommes, rencontrent des difficultés à concilier vie professionnelle et familiale et sont confrontées à un gros écart de rémunération. Pour plusieurs dimensions du bien-être, les différences entre les personnes issues de l’immigration et le reste de la population sont supérieures à celles observées dans le pays moyen de l’OCDE. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de l’Autriche, 2013 (http://www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/austria-2013.htm).

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k422133hjnv-en
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 1079.

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Date of creation: 05 Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1079-en

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Keywords: productivity; Austria; well-being; quality of life; family; social partnership; productivité; qualité de vie; famille; partenariat social; bien-être; Autriche;

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