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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization of 30 countries that accept the principles of representative democracy and free market economy. Most OECD members are high-income economies with a high Human Development Index and are regarded as developed countries.

It originated in 1948 as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation, led by Robert Marjolin of France, to help administer the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II.

Later, its membership was extended to non-European states. In 1961, it was reformed into the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development by the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The OECD's headquarters are at the Château de la Muette in Paris.



The Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) was founded in 1948 to help administer the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. The headquarters was in the Chateau de la Muette in Paris, France. As the Marshall Plan faded, the OEEC focused on economic questions.for European Economic Co-operation

In the 1950s the OEEC provided the framework for negotiations aimed at determining conditions for setting up a European Free Trade Area, to bring the Common Market of the Six and the other OEEC members together on a multilateral basis. In 1958, a European Nuclear Energy Agency was set up under the OEEC.

Following the 1957 Rome Treaties to launch Europe's Common Market, the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development was drawn up to reform the OEEC. The Convention was signed in December 1960 and the OECD officially superseded the OEEC in September 1961. It consisted of the European founder countries of the OEEC plus the United States and Canada, with Japan joining three years later.

More than just increasing its internal structure, OECD progressively created agencies: the Development Center (1961), International Energy Agency (IEA, 1974), and Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering.

Tackling the financial and economic crisis

"As we face up to the worst recession for decades, the OECD is working to help governments soften the impact of this crisis for those who will be worst hit and to lay the foundations of a stronger global economy for the generations to come.

Our strategic response to the crisis covers two main areas. We emphasise the need to align regulations and incentives in the financial sector to ensure tighter oversight and risk management. And we urge governments to review and upgrade their national policies and improve international coordination in order to restore the conditions for economic growth.

Nearly all OECD countries can enact growth-enhancing structural policies that could potentially enhance short term, as well as long-term growth. These include reforming anti-competitive product market regulation and reducing tax burdens for low-income workers, as well as launching major infrastructure projects and compulsory training programmes for the unemployed.

Beyond such actions, however, we need to re-think how the world economy operates. Our goal must be a global economy that is not only stronger but also cleaner and fairer.

To make the economy stronger, we need to revitalise it by:

  • improving regulation
  • strengthening corporate governance
  • fostering innovation
  • promoting trade, investment and competition
  • developing policies for sustainable growth

To make it cleaner, we need to restore trust in globalisation by:

  • promoting transparency and integrity
  • fighting corruption and money-laundering
  • combating tax evasion
  • tackling climate change

To make it fairer, we need to share the benefits of prosperity by:

  • boosting employment and social inclusion
  • fostering development
  • providing adequate education and healthcare

Only once these conditions are met will we be able to look forward to stable growth and increasing prosperity. The long term begins now. We have no time to waste."

Objectives and action

A setting in which governments can compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices, and co-ordinate domestic and international policies. The mandate of the OECD is broad, covering economic, environmental, and social issues. It is a forum where peer pressure can act as a powerful incentive to improve policy and implement "soft law" — non-binding instruments that can occasionally lead to binding treaties.

Exchanges between OECD governments flow from information and analysis provided by a secretariat in Paris. The secretariat collects data, monitors trends, and analyses and forecasts economic developments. It also researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and other areas. The OECD is also known as a premium statistical agency, as it publishes highly-comparable statistics on a very wide number of subjects.

Over the past several decades, the OECD has tackled a range of economic, social, and environmental issues while further deepening its engagement with business, trade unions and other representatives of civil society. Collaboration at the OECD regarding taxation, for example, have fostered the growth of a global web of bilateral tax treaties.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) promotes policies designed:

  • to achieve the highest sustainable economic growth and employment and a rising standard of living in Member countries, while maintaining financial stability, and thus to contribute to the development of the world economy;
  • to contribute to sound economic expansion in Member as well as nonmember countries in the process of economic development; and
  • to contribute to the expansion of world trade on a multilateral, nondiscriminatory basis in accordance with international obligations.



The OECD's annual budget, currently around USD $510 million (EUR 342.9 million), is funded by the member countries based on a formula related to the size of each member's gross national product. The largest contributor is the United States, which contributes about one quarter of the budget, followed by Japan with 16%, Germany with 9% and the U.K. and France with 7%. The OECD governing council sets the budget and scope of work on a two-yearly basis.


The OECD's structure revolves around 3 major bodies:

  • The OECD member countries, each represented by a delegation led by an ambassador. Together, they form the council.
  • The OECD Secretariat, led by the Secretary-General (currently Angel Gurria). The Secretariat is organised in directorates. There are some 2,500 agents in the OECD Secretariat.
  • The OECD committees, one for each work area of the OECD. Committee members are typically subject-matter experts from member and non-member countries. The committees commission all the work on each theme (publications, task forces, conferences, and so on). The committee members then relay the conclusions to their capitals.


Every year, more than 40,000 delegates visit the OECD to attend committees and other meetings, principally organised by the OECD Secretariat. Former Deputy-Secretary General Pierre Vinde estimated in 1997[1] that the cost born by the member countries, such as sending their officials to OECD meetings and maintaining permanent delegations, is equivalent to the cost of running the secretariat. This ratio is unique among inter-governmental organisations. In other words, the OECD is more a persistent forum or network of officials and experts than an administration.

Noteworthy meetings include:

  • The yearly Ministerial Council Meeting, with the Ministers of Economy of all member countries and the candidates for enhanced engagement among the countries.
  • The annual OECD Forum, which brings together leaders from business, government, labour, civil society and international organisations. This takes the form of conferences and discussions and is open to public participation.
  • Thematic Ministerial Meetings, held among Ministers of a given domain (ie. all Ministers of Labour, all Ministers of Environment, etc.).
  • The bi-annual World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policies, which doesn't usually take place in the OECD. This series of meetings has the ambition to measure and foster progress in societies.

In January 2008, the OECD opened a new Conference centre to host these meetings.


The OECD Secretariat is organised in Directorates:

  • Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development
  • Centre for Tax Policy and Administration
  • Development Co-operation Directorate
  • Directorate for Education
  • Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs
  • Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs
  • Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry
  • Economics Department
  • Environment Directorate
  • Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate
  • Statistics Directorate
  • Trade and Agriculture Directorate
  • General Secretariat
  • Executive Directorate
  • Public Affairs and Communication Directorate

New OECD iLibrary

The OECD iLibrary, the new platform giving seamless and comprehensive access to statistical data, books, journals and working papers, is now available. It replaces SourceOECD and hosts all content equally so users can find – and cite – tables and databases as easily as articles or chapters. The citation tool for datasets and tables is new and unique to the OECD iLibrary.

OECD iLibrary contains all the publications and datasets released by:

  • OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development),
  • International Energy Agency (IEA),
  • Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA),
  • OECD Development Centre,
  • PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), and
  • International Transport Forum (ITF) since 1998 –

Some 390 complete databases, 2,500 working papers, 5,500 books, 14,000 tables and graphs, 21,000 chapters and articles.

OECD iLibrary has the following new features:

  • Intuitive navigation by country or theme.
  • Granular content - users can search and click directly to tables, chapters or articles.
  • Integrated search results, showing all available file formats (PDF, HTML, XLS).
  • A citation tool for all content, compatible with popular bibliographic management systems.
  • Content in context - related content is one click away.
  • Links to previous editions, with the option to download any full-text item such as tables or chapters from the table of contents.
  • Every content level has a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and fixed URL.
  • Users can navigate back and forth via hierarchical “breadcrumb trails”.
  • Executive summaries available for key titles in up to 20 languages.
  • Data available as ready-made, downloadable tables, or, for experienced users, in databases for users to build and extract their own tables.
  • OECD.Stat is fully integrated, offering multiple export formats (including SDMX) explanatory metadata and links to related publications.
  • 44,000 home pages with Google friendly URLs.

OECD iLibrary supersedes SourceOECD as the main OECD publishing platform, and all existing subscribers are now being migrated. OECD has been communicating with all its customers over the past couple of months to encourage their use of the new platform as part of the transition.

For end-users, the migration process is transparent – their usernames and passwords, as well as IP address details, have been transferred. SourceOECD’s EasyLinks will be automatically re-directed to the appropriate page in OECD iLibrary. Parallel access to SourceOECD will continue to be available to subscribers until the migration is complete.

New and existing subscribers need to register an OECD iLibrary administrator username and password to be able to use the back-office functions. These currently include the management of:

  • Administration contact details
  • Authentication details - IP address/es and/or end-user usernames and passwords
  • Subscriptions
  • Institutional branding

The OECD iLibrary is still being enhanced and some administrative features such as MARC records and COUNTER usage statistics are currently being finalised prior to deployment shortly. The site will continue to evolve as new technology and innovations become available. OECD welcomes ongoing feedback from librarians and end users to continue to improve the site.

Please visit the OECD iLibrary.

OECD statistical reports

This statistical profile, updated yearly, is a snapshot of data selected from more than 40 statistical databases available on SourceOECD, our online library. The red 's in the second column provide links to the sources of the data, where more up-to-date data and longer time series can be found.

OECD reports

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