Top Economists Worry About New Thinkers at OECD
Some of the world's best-known economists have written a letter of protest to the Secretary-General of the OECD. The background is the fear of a significant downgrading of the OECD initiative "New Approaches to Economic Challenges" (NAEC).
BYFORUM NEW ECONOMY
PUBLISHED28. SEPTEMBER 2022
READING TIME3 MIN
For years, the New Approaches for Economic Changes unit ensured that very innovative economic research was done at the OECD. Now NAEC has been transferred from the weighty General Secretariat to the Economics Department, where there is a threat of a budget shortfall. Leading economists from around the world – including Dani Rodrik, Joe Stiglitz, Mariana Mazzucato and Stephanie Kelton – are protesting against this in an open letter published today.
The development had become apparent soon after Mathias Cormann’s appointment in March 2021. NAEC had been created by predecessor José Ángel Gurria in 2012 to promote new thinking after the financial crisis. Since then, not only has there been a shift in unity, but public events have been canceled to date. There is also a lack of budget. In January, there was then an initial letter from the signatories, which was non-public. Since Cormann did not respond to it – and did not share the letter internally – the second letter now followed, this time also made public.
In addition to Rodrik, Stiglitz, Mazzucato and Kelton, the 30 or so signatories include Adam Tooze, Kate Raworth, William White, Barry Eichengreen, Gabriel Zucman, Rana Foroohar of the FT, Rob Johnson of INET and Forum Director Thomas Fricke.