Latest high level broadside on inequality – “In It Together…” from the OECD

Duncan Green - June 5, 2015

Guest post from Oxfam inequality researcher Daria Ukhova Last month, the OECD published a new flagship report on inequality In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All, continuing a series and building on the findings of the previous reports Growing Unequal? (2008) and Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising (2011). At Oxfam since the launch of our Even It Up campaign, we have been closely monitoring the inequality debate, and OECD’s…

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How to fix fragile states? The OECD reckons it’s all down to tax systems.

Duncan Green - February 25, 2014

…be used to fund their most pressing needs.’ Another broadside from rent-a-mob? Nope, it’s the ultra respectable OECD in its Fragile States 2014 report. After years of growth, aid to fragile states started to fall in 2011, so the report centres around an urgent call for OECD member states to help their more fragile cousins find a post-aid arrangement that funds essential state functions and builds the ‘social contract’ with citizens. The key is a…

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Aid must change in order to tackle inequality: the OECD responds to Angus Deaton

Duncan Green - May 14, 2014

Guest post from Jon Lomøy, Director of the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) Official development assistance – or aid – is under fire. In The Great Escape, Angus Deaton argues that, “far from being a prescription for eliminating poverty, the aid illusion is actually an obstacle to improving the lives of the poor.” Yet used properly, “smart aid” can be very effective in improving lives and confronting the very issue that Deaton’s b…

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OECD versus Ha-Joon Chang on agricultural policy and poverty reduction: I'm with Chang

admin - March 16, 2012

A recent launch discussion at Chatham House (but mercifully on the record) on the new OECD book, Agricultural Policies for Poverty Reduction, (powerpoint presentation by author Jonathan Brooks here – keep clicking til it comes up) provides a nice counterpoint to the FAO study discussed over the last couple of days.  The contrast is pretty striking, especially on the role of the state, where Ha-Joon Chang’s focus on policy space and the vi…

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Social Cohesion – there's a lot more to it than the OECD version

admin - January 10, 2012

…han inequality; the World Bank is using it to discuss jobs in its forthcoming World Development Report, and the OECD recently published Perspectives on Global Development 2012: Social Cohesion in a Shifting World. The Exec Sum is free online, but you have to pay for the full report (come on people, last time I looked, this was the 21st Century….) So what are they talking about? Here’s the OECD’s attempt at a definition: ‘A cohesive society…

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Putting numbers on happiness – new efforts to measure well-being

admin - December 10, 2008

…of Economic Performance and Social Progress’ (aka the ‘Stiglitz Commission’), which reports next year, and the OECD club of rich nations has launched an ambitious effort to ‘measure the progress of societies’. The OECD project has three main goals – reaching agreement on · What to measure · How to measure progress · Ensuring those measures are used It aims to achieve this through a combination of publications, research and events over several ye…

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Why do countries need aid when the world is awash with capital? Latest thoughts from the OECD

Duncan Green - October 14, 2014

I chaired the London launch of the OECD’s annual aid report last week (when it comes to flagships, the multilateral system is starting to look like the Spanish Armada – more on that tomorrow). We opted for a radical new model for such meetings: the chair keeps people to time, says where the toilets are (when he remembers) but otherwise shuts up. Panelists speak to time, and discuss the report, rather than random other research interests. And th…

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Agricultural policy, poverty and the role of the state: the OECD responds

admin - March 17, 2012

Today Jonathan Brooks author of the OECD’s new book on agricultural policy and poverty reduction, responds to my rather critical review. (For footie fans, the photo behind him is taken in a Brazilian bar, and celebrates the lobbing of the English goalkeeper David Seaman by Ronaldinho in the 2002 World Cup) Duncan, Thanks for this review, and the opportunity to reply. I wouldn’t make quite so much of the counterpoint with Ha-Joon Chang’s b…

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Reformers v lobbyists: where have we got to on tackling corporate tax dodging?

Duncan Green - May 9, 2014

…for reform as the memories of the global financial crisis fade, and the lobbyists mobilise to try and stop the OECD and G20 from turning post-crisis promises into something more concrete. First the issue: ‘The OECD has found that multi-national corporations pay as little as 5 percent in corporate tax, while small companies pay as much as 30 percent. This situation can mostly be explained by two phenomena: multinational business shifting profits…

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Are international conferences getting any better? A bit – thanks to some sparky new tech

admin - April 12, 2013

For a ‘club of rich countries’, the OECD spends a lot of time thinking about development. It’s Development Cooperation Directorate does the number crunching on aid; the OECD Development Centre publishes annual Economic Outlooks on Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, or Latin American revenue statistics. Last week I spent a couple of chilly days at its Paris HQ at the 5th Global Forum on Development discussing the inevitable topic – post20…

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