History and Policy Making Conference

A two-day event bringing together senior officials and academics to consider the contribution of historically informed inquiry to central bank policy making.

About the conference

Date: 30 November 2020 and 1 December 2020

Historical evidence can help central banks make better decisions. But learning from history is difficult. In addition to the hard work of collecting evidence and making it available to policy makers, it requires careful attention to the specific contexts of past episodes and a sophisticated understanding of just how policy makers, taking decisions in often very different circumstances, can apply insights from other times and places. In order to help meet that challenge, this conference brings together academics and senior policy makers to improve our understanding of just how historical inquiry can help central banks make better decisions. 

Questions for discussion will include: How can historical inquiry improve policy making and delivery? What methodologies and data are available and what are their strengths and limitations? And what is the evidence base for assessing the current contribution of historically informed inquiry to policy making and execution at central banks?

This event has been organized in partnership with the Data Analytics for Finance and Macro (DAFM) Research Centre at King's Business School, KCL and the Qatar Centre for Global Banking and Finance at King's Business School, KCL.

Organizing committee: Peter Barrett (BoE), Sophie Dalzell (BoE), Georgina Green (BoE), Matt Hankin (BoE), George Kapetanios (KCL), Francesca  Monti (KCL), Austen Saunders (BoE), Marco Schneebalg (BoE), Alison Schomberg (BoE), Polly Weaver (BoE), Andrew Whitworth (BoE).


Monday 30 November
This is day one of two. 

  • 1.15pm(London time) - Welcome from Andy Haldane (Bank of England, Chief Economist)
  • 1.30pm - Nathan Sussman (The Graduate Institute, Geneva (IHEID)) -  ‘Monetary Policy Before Central Banking: Lessons from Medieval Europe’ – with Martin Weale (KCL) as respondent
  • 2.45pm - Catherine Schenk (University of Oxford) – ‘When should policy-makers reach for the history books? some examples from the 20th century’ – with Natacha Postel-Vinay (LSE) as respondent
  • 4.00pm – Keynote address by  Barry Eichengreen (University of California, Berkeley) - ‘Central Banks and History: The Troubled Relationship’

 Register to attend

Tuesday 1 December
This is day two of two. 

  • 2.00pm (London time) - Panel discussion: How can policy-makers use history effectively? – Chaired by Claudio Borio (BIS, Head of the Monetary and Economic Department) with Andrew Bailey (Bank of England, Governor), Vicky Saporta (Bank of England, Executive Director of Prudential Regulation), Lord Macpherson (Permanent Secretary to the Treasury from 2005 to 2016), Alan Taylor (University of California, Davis)
  • 3.45pm - Éric Monnet (Paris School of Economics and EHESS) – ‘Theory, Empirics and History. Three Perspectives for Policy-making’ – with David Aikman (KCL) as respondent
  • 4.45pm – Closing remarks by Sam Woods (Bank of England, Deputy Governor)

Register to attend

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This page was last updated 31 January 2023