Despite an improvement in overall macroeconomic performance in Costa Rica, income inequality has risen and is currently at its maximum historical value.
Costa Rican well-being indicators are comparable or even above the OECD average in several dimensions (OECD, 2016a). Nevertheless, gaps with OECD countries are large in two dimensions: labour market participation and education.
Boosting national productivity to sustain the convergence process towards OECD countries living standards will hinge on creating the right conditions for domestic firms to thrive and become more innovative and productive, while maintaining the long-standing commitment to open international markets and investment.
In the past 30 years Costa Rica has grown steadily and social indicators have improved markedly. Well-being indicators are comparable or even above the OECD average in several dimensions, such as health, environment or life-satisfaction. This paper reviews the social progress that Costa Rica has achieved and identifies reducing inequality and poverty as the main challenges.