The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, is comprised of member nations that discuss, analyze and develop economic policies to recommend to governments to resolve common problems. A mutual examination and peer-review process is central to the workings of the OECD. The organization's committee-level policy discussions carry the potential to develop into the negotiation stage for international agreements, standards and corporate governance.
Founded in September of 1961, the OECD's stated aim is to provide an international forum focused on the growth of a market economy and democratic principles. Social and environmental issues, and the manner in which they may be affected by economic policies, are also a focus of the organization's discussions, analysis and policy recommendations.
Peer-group pressure is the primary method by which the OECD promotes its recommendations. This method is also the means by which it helps to develop "soft laws," which are nonbinding, but can lead to binding agreements. An example of such a process is the agreement made to combat bribery in international business transactions. The signatories also monitor the bribery-combating agreement through peer review.
The OECD compiles easily accessed and updated international statistics regarding economic development. In addition to information regarding economic growth, the organization is a resource for researchers and planners who require data for related topics, such as the environment, communications and information technology forecasts. The OECD produces outlooks, economic indicators, fact books, magazines and comparative statistics and releases between 300 and 500 publications yearly.