Jackson Hole and Expert Networks in Economic Governance
In policy fields where technical knowledge plays an important role in defining and selecting policy options, elites require spaces and events where they can exchange and scrutinise ideas and technical analyses. Accordingly, international interactions in the field of central banking do not simply take the form of negotiations and bargaining between state agencies over pre-selected policy preferences. An alternative activity involves an ongoing iterative round of exchanges, which seek to establish what constitutes legitimate central banking knowledge with reference to the latest economic science. How do central banks select ideas and knowledge, how do forms of contestation and patterns of authority relations shape and determine this process, and how does that process in turn allocate authority in the field of central banking? This project studies the Jackson Hole annual symposium as the primary event for this kind of activity in the field of central banking, run by the Kansas City Federal Reserve since 1982. Tracking the history of intellectual exchange at Jackson Hole helps us to understand how and whether central banking ideas and knowledge change, or stay the same, and the social dynamics and patterns of authority that produce these outcomes.
Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)