As knowledge producers and transfer agents, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank (WB) rely on their own research infrastructures to promote the dissemination public governance reform. To enhance their authority and legitimacy, they frame their economic knowledge through prominent documents that set the agenda for policy advisory activities and practices. This paper suggests that the influence of epistemic communities on the extent of change in these international organisations’ agenda-setting depends on their institutional determinants, namely mandate, knowledge production processes and knowledge validation procedures. Both IOs strategically select their preferred sources of expert knowledge. The OECD refers to technical expertise to enhance its new public management agenda through adjustments. The WB is attuned to economic expertise, resulting in transformations of knowledge frames.