A globally influential thinker, Gabriela Ramos, explains why a group of leading economies is challenging globalisation and other conventional wisdom.
More than 30 of the world’s wealthiest countries with market economies share an ambition to promote economic growth, prosperity, and sustainable development. They are the members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The organisation includes among its aims, a commitment to “seek solutions to common problems” and its activities include “drawing on facts and real-life experience, we recommend policies designed to improve the quality of people’s lives”. One of its core values is to “dare to challenge conventional wisdom starting with our own.”
It’s fair to say that some of the 56 year-old OECD’s ambitions have been made more difficult due to the financial crisis in 2008. And it’s also fair to say the OECD failed to anticipate how the prevailing economic environment would bring about the events of 2008 and the economic fallout from that crash.
It is, in keeping with its core value of challenging conventional wisdom, now developing a new approach to the global economic challenges in post-crash economies including intractable low incomes, economic exclusion and inequality.
But the governments that make up the OECD were seen by many as being among the cheerleaders of globalisation and neoclassical economics that steered us all into crisis. And neoclassical thinking prevails among many of its current economists. So why might OECD be seen to have what is needed to draw on “facts and real-life experience,” and to come up with “policies designed to improve the quality of people’s lives”? And when it unfurls a banner of new economic thinking – can the pluralist economists take it seriously?
“So yes, we have been the cheerleader – guilty as charged. But we have also been trying to improve our analysis. Now we have made inclusiveness the ultimate goal of our policy thinking,” says OECD chief of staff and Sherpa to the G20, Gabriela Ramos.