Monday 23 October 2017

Biggest threat to recovery is premature idea that our problems have been licked

The latest OECD report highlights the lack of proper evaluation in the vital area of education, says Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

THE Paris-based OECD is the intergovernmental think-tank of the more developed world economies. Its membership includes the European countries, the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and various other middle- and high-income countries.

Every two years, the OECD prepares a 'survey' of each of the member economies, identifying weaknesses and priorities for policymakers. Its most recent report on Ireland was released on Thursday last.

The OECD is funded by the members and its reports are reviewed in draft by the member states before they are released. They are rarely a source of discomfort to the governments concerned. This is not to say that the OECD is not a valuable international organisation: it is a unique repository of comparative data and analysis across a wide range of policy areas. But it does not shoot from the hip. Along with the IMF, the European Commission and the ECB, it gave high marks to Irish policy throughout the bubble years leading up to the crash of 2008.

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