The European Productivity Agency and Transatlantic Relations, 1953-1961

By Bent Boel | Go to book overview

IX. IMPACT OF THE EPA’S ACTIVITIES

This chapter will briefly describe those aspects of the EPA’s activities which previously have not been presented and it will more generally assess the agency’s impact.


A. The Projects1

The programs for management, trade unions and areas in the process of economic development have already been examined. What will be introduced below are the activities concerning the economic factors of productivity, the development of applied research and its use, the food and agriculture program and the information activities.


1. Economic Factors of Productivity

This part of the EPA’s program dealt with the methods of measurement and with the study of the general economic factors influencing the development of productivity. The measurement of the productivity of work was a central task, since without reliable evaluations it would hardly be possible to assess methods to increase productivity. However, it was also a controversial activity. Many businessmen disliked the idea of comparing productivity and they were reluctant to disclose the relevant information. This was a problem particularly in Southern European countries.2

Several of the agency’s activities in this field were innovative. The productivi­ ty measurement advisory service which dealt with inter-firm comparisons and more generally the use of mathematical methods in industry, was the only international service of its kind. The Productivity Measurement Review was widely read and highly influential among specialists.3 The activities of the

1 The best overviews of the agency’s activities are to be found in the following two reports: WNRC, RG 469, OAEO, ROS, RRt EPA, 1953-1957, EPA: Advisory Board – EPA: General, box 1, f. “EPA/General Through 1957,” EPA(57)11, 3.9. 1957; ECHA, EPA Archives, OECE, August 1965, “Répertoire des activités de l’AEP (1953-1961).” Con­ cerning the change of emphasis in the program, see for example: UMA, j.nr. 106.O.21, box 1, OEEC del. to UM, no. 3899, 27.8. 1958.

2 UMA, j.nr. 106.O.21, box 2, OEEC del., no. 5595, 15.12. 1958, “EPA. Governing Board. Mødet d. 4.12. og 5.12. 1958;” UMA, j.nr. 106.O.21, ltr., HMPU (Rydeng) to UM (Hjorth-Nielsen), 3.10. 1958, att.: memo, 26.9. 1958; ASCONF, box 70/14.1, f. “Indici di produttività in Francia (studia),” ltr., CNP (Lusignoli) to CGII, 23.3. 1959.

3 At least according to the EPA’s own reports, cf. EPA Information Bulletin, Paris,

-221-

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The European Productivity Agency and Transatlantic Relations, 1953-1961
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Studies in 20th & 21St Century European History 2
  • Title Page 3
  • Table of Contents 5
  • Acknowledgments 7
  • Introduction 9
  • I- American Technical Assistance to Western Europe, 1948-53 21
  • II- A Short History of the Epa, 1953-61 61
  • III- An Operational Branch of the Oeec 93
  • IV- An American Aid Agency 115
  • V- A European Federator 135
  • Vi- Epa- A Tripartite Organization?1 149
  • VII- The EPA and Management Education1 185
  • VIII- The EPA and Development Aid- The Pilot Area in Sardinia 199
  • IX- Impact of the Epa's Activities 221
  • Conclusion 249
  • List of Abbreviations and Acronyms 253
  • Bibliography 261
  • Appendices 284
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