Séminaire du Centre Walras Pareto
What do international organizations define as the world economy and what do they know about it throughout the twentieth century? Where do they access information about economic activities? What do they think is worth valuing? Why do they collect data – and for what purpose? Who creates, collects, evaluates, and disseminates this information? How do they interpret the data, translate it into practical knowledge, and formulate specific discourses about the world economy? And eventually what spillover effects do such knowledge and concepts have on economic realities?
This presentation will focus on the role of international organizations in shaping the “Economic Planet” as they set the standards that market economies try to converge and conform to (either to receive aid or attract capital). Markets, states, corporations, and international organizations have converged over time to establish a set of definitions and measures of what is considered productive/unproductive, marketable/non-marketable, and economic/non-economic. I designate the reality this framework created with a neologism: the oikonocene, from oiko – “house” and – nomos – “rule, law” (which gives the economy its original meaning of household management), and kainós – “new, recent” (you can find the same “cene” in the Anthropocene). I will present findings from my work in progress on the origins of the global accounting system, its empirical methods of data collection in times of crisis, and critiques of the ethnocentricism that has plagued the production of economic knowledge and modeling, while marginalizing or negating lived experience that does not fit a universal “Economic Man".