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The OECD and the "crisis" of Keynesianism : the McCracken Report, (1975-1977)

Abstract : This contribution analyzes one of the OECD's «neo-liberal turning points» during the second half of the 1970s: the McCracken Report (OECD 1977). This report, which had been commissioned by the U.S. State Department between the two oil crises, crystallized the OECD's experts standpoint on the economic situation. At a time when the effectiveness of Keynesian economic policy recipes seemed in disarray, this report challenged the routinized macroeconomic and political prescriptions held at the OECD. Our inquiry is based on archives and on retrospective interviews. It focuses on the elaboration and writing of this emblematic report by a collective formed of the direction of the OECD as well as external experts. I show how, during the elaboration of the report, economic policy recipes labeled as Keynesian, were discredited and replaced by other forms of economics knowledge and how this evolution of expertise inside the OECD was defined as both an «innovation» and an intellectual «necessity». I also emphasize the rationalizing role played by economic knowledge in the interpretation of the crisis of the 1970s and underscore the struggles that emerged within the OECD's bureaucracy regarding the explanation of this epistemic «innovation». This paper retraces not only conflicts between the different services of the organization, but also the intervention of member countries representatives in the elaboration of the report, as well as the transformation of North American economics. A study of McCracken report gives us a better understanding of how the OECD contributed to the «Washington consensus», a policy consensus which has until now mainly been studied in the context of the IMF and the World Bank. Literature mentioned: McCracken Paul, et al., Towards Full Employment and Price Stability, Paris, OECD, 1977
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01513676
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 4:28:38 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 3:36:46 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01513676, version 1

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Vincent Gayon. The OECD and the "crisis" of Keynesianism : the McCracken Report, (1975-1977). 9th European Social Science History Conference, Apr 2012, Glasgow, United Kingdom. ⟨hal-01513676⟩

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