Q & A

What is the OECD?

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) is a group of 30 countries that share a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. Best known for its publications and statistics, the OECD's work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics to trade, education, development, science and innovation.


Why does a lesser-developed country such as Turkey have a higher growth rate than more-industrialized nations such as the Unites States, Germany and France?

The differences among growth rates are consistent with some basic principles of economic growth theory. Less-mature industrialized countries have lower output and capital per worker than the more-industrialized countries. The principle of convergence suggests that these economies should experience more rapid growth through capital accumulation as development proceeds and standards of living rise to meet those of the richer nations.


Why is the growth rate of the U.S. economy stronger than that of Western European countries?

Strong growth performance in the United States has been driven by rising productivity (i.e., rapid rates of increase in output per worker). Productivity growth in the United States was 3.7 percent in 2004 and is projected to advance at a healthy 2.0 percent rate in 2005.


The content for this edition of Q & A was largely adapted from "OECD Growth," which was written by Michael R. Pakko, a St. Louis Fed economist, and appeared in the February 2005 issue of International Economic Trends, a St. Louis Fed publication. For more information on the OECD, go to www.oecd.org.


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