UPIER Conference: Uses of the Past in International Economic Relations
This two-day international conference explores how the past was used (and mis-used) in a variety of contexts including legal, monetary, and financial relations across the 19th and 20th centuries.
How do policymakers and economic actors use the past in their decision-making?
One of the many exceptional aspects of the global financial crisis of 2008 was the prominence policymakers and commentators gave to the importance of history in helping to determine their response to the crisis. Comparisons with the Great Depression of the 1930s were a recurrent feature of assessments of the depth and spread of the global financial crisis. They reveal the extent to which policymakers sought to ‘learn’ from the past.
But how relevant is the past as a guide to the present, or even the future, and how is it used when policymakers, bankers and the public are faced with difficult economic challenges? In discussing these issues, contributors to the conference will draw upon a range of examples. These include the commitment to free trade expressed by the Covenant of the League of Nations in 1919; how the past was used to frame the policies of monetary reform expressed the Federal Reserve Act of 1939; the role of banking regulations in the management of risk in the 20th century; and, more recently, how the past has informed the estimation of Greece's taxation capability. Find out more.