Not just a matter of the GDP. A reminder this week from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that the central purpose of economic policies is to improve people’s lives. With the release of an updated version of the report How's Life?, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria called for a rethink of "how to place people’s needs at the heart of policy-making” as data showed that the global economic crisis has had a profound impact on people’s well-being, reaching far beyond the loss of jobs and income.

The OECD finds that over the past 20 years, OECD countries have made considerable progress in terms of overall well-being, but progress has been uneven between countries and in some countries, across population groups too.