Monday, March 05, 2012

Spotlight on the OECD

It is Monday and while the waiting for that third cup of coffee (or tea) to kick in, why not read a little about the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)? While there are probably a few of you non-governmental folks out there who can't imagine stuffing another acronym into your memory back, I would encourage you to find some room for this group.

First, who is the OECD and what do they do? This group started with 20 countries (18 European and the US and Canada), which were dedicated to development. It now is made up of 34 countries, most of the world's most developed countries and a few emerging countries. To be a member of OECD, countries must meet OECD standards on a wide range of policy areas (from economics to human rights).

Now that your brain is running away from all this history and policy, watch this video:

Ah, Paris. I would love to take a free trip to Paris. Want to try? Check out the OECD's contest page.

Alright, enough daydreaming of climbing the Eiffel Tower or strolling through the Louvre, let's take a look at some of the information you can find from the OECD. For example, there has been a lot of talk from the Occupy movement about the 99%, but is this real? And how widespread it this? Check out this video:

One of the amazing things that the OECD does is data gathering (by now you should know I will always get to numbers at some point) and since their membership contains many of the top economies in the world, this is a great group to go to when studying the developed world. Now the video links you to a web page with some of the information on this topic, but wouldn't you like to see all the data and the book itself? If you are here on campus (or off campus with the VPN), you can. We have a great database called the OECD iLibrary and in it you can access the full-text of Divided  We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising and so much more.

The data used in this book and that you can use to write your own study on this topic can be found in the OECD iLibrary's Social Expenditures Statistics data set, which has a section on Income Inequality, which has data on most of the members from the 70s till now.

But, that is not all you will find in the OECD iLibrary, just this year CU-Boulder has added access to IEA energy statistics (that is the International Energy Agency for those interested). These statistics have information such as use, production and prices of oil, natural gas, renewables, and other energy products. To see what data from this can look like, see this table:
IEA Energy Prices and Taxes in OECD iLibrary
Still want more? Check out the library's guide to the OECD.

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