Productivity and long term growth

Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2006


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Going for Growth, published in 2005 for the first time, is an annual periodical - intended as a complement to the OECD Economic Outlook and OECD Economic Surveys - which gives an overview of structural policy developments in OECD countries. Last year's edition (Going for Growth 2005) identified structural policy priorities to enhance GDP per capita for all member countries, on the basis of cross-country comparisons of policy settings. Going for Growth 2006 provides an overview of the progress achieved by member countries in taking measures consistent with the priorities identified in the 2005 edition. It also extends the scope of performance and policy indicators to the area of innovation. 

Press conference of 7 February 2006

Editorial  by OECD Chief Economist Jean-Philippe Cotis

Presentation by Jean-Philippe Cotis, OECD Chief Economist

Handout distributed to journalists

Part I:  Progress in Responding to the 2005 Policy Priorities

Chapter 1. Progress in Responding to the 2005 Policy Priorities: Overview
This chapter provides an overview of the progress achieved by member countries over the past year in taking measures consistent with the policy priorities identified in the 2005 edition. Overall, several important steps have been taken to reform competition-restraining regulations in product markets and towards improving educational outcomes in most countries where this was seen as a priority. However, less progress has been made in responding to priorities in the area of labour market policies.

Chapter 2. Progress in Responding to the 2005 Policy Priorities: Country Notes
This chapter contains information about the progress in implementing reforms in line with the 2005 priorities for individual OECD member countries and for the European Union (see 2005 country notes). 





Czech Republic


European Union Migration














New Zealand





Slovak Republic





United Kingdom

United States



Part II:  Encouraging Innovation

Chapter 3. Encouraging Innovation: An Overview of Performance and Policies
Innovation has long been a key source of progress in material living standards but the outcomes of innovation efforts are generally highly uncertain and the benefits for society as a whole may exceed those for private firms. To encourage innovation, governments have therefore put in place various measures such as financial support for private R&D projects and funding for research in universities. This chapter provides a cross-country comparison of innovation efforts and outcomes as well as of the main policy areas having an influence on those outcomes.

Chapter 4. Encouraging Innovation: Country Notes
This chapter presents key policy recommendations to strengthen innovation performance for individual OECD countries and for the European Union.


Part III:  Thematic Studies

Chapter 5. Regulation of Financial Systems and Economic Growth
This chapter sheds some light on the link between financial market regulation economic growth. Financial systems are found to differ substantially across countries in terms of overall size, structure as well as in the degree of competitive pressures prevailing in the banking and securities markets. To some extent, variations reflect differences in regulatory underpinnings. In particular, regulatory settings that maintain excessively high barriers to competition in banking, provide too little protection for investors in securities markets, hamper development of financial systems, resulting in weaker economic growth.

Chapter 6. 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.


Annex A. Structural Policy Indicators

Grouped into an annex, these charts provide comparative indicators covering structural policy areas such as labour markets, education and product market regulation. These indicators enable countries to see their economic performance and structural policies in comparison with others.


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