Today the Bank launched the new ‘Bank of England Agenda for Research’ setting out the key areas for new research over the coming years and a set of priority topics for 2021. The agenda is available on the Bank’s website here.
Central banks want to learn from history. They can do so by drawing on decades of work by economic historians, as well as their own archives which manifest layers of institutional memory. But the path from page to policy can be difficult to find. Central banks need therefore to invest in the capacity of their own staff to think historically. This will help them use evidence from the past to make better decisions in the future. In practice, this means producing historical research as well as consuming it. Institutions like central banks need to be fluent participants in the conversations which bridge the distance between past and present.