The very first gathering of monetary economists in the UK took place under Harry Johnson's aegis at Hove in October 1969. The meeting was held to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Radcliffe Report, and to take stock of the progress made in UK monetary economics since its publication. The Hove meeting pointed to the need for more frequent meetings among monetary economists. It was from that event that the Money Study Group was born, with a key objective of promoting research into monetary economics in the United Kingdom. Not surprisingly, in 1970 it published its first major book of readings in British monetary economics (Croome, D. R. and H. G. Johnson, (eds.), Money in Britain 1959-1969, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1970) following a relevant conference. Ever since the pattern that was established has been followed: a number of publications have been produced from the proceedings of special events, annual conferences and seminars in the areas of the group’s interests. The phenomenal developments in the area dictated the change in its name to Money, Macro and Finance Research Group in 1991.
From its inception, the Group has been very active:
- It has held a significant number of major conferences;
- It has held special seminars in honour of its important members;
- Frequent one day workshop meetings have been organised around research topics that were emerging as promising and important;
- It organises Annual Conference; it is now in its 38th year having travelled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and, most recently, outside of the UK for the first time in Crete. It is, we believe, the largest conference of its type in Europe. A list of the invited speakers gives a picture of the strength of the conference (link to list);
- An annual Special Issue of the Manchester School has been published since 1990 containing a subset of papers presented at the Annual Conference including papers by our distinguished guest speakers;
- A number of special issues of journals based on conferences and seminars have been published including Manchester School (Beyond Inflation Targeting, 70(4), 2002; Transparency in Monetary Policy, 71(5), 2003);
- It has developed links with equivalent research groups in Europe including the French GdR Monnaie et Financement Research Group and the international SUERF (Société Universitaire Européene de Recherches Finançières) and the UK-based Society of Business Economists;
- The current membership is over 400.
The Group is now firmly established in the profession. The breath of its interests and the wide range of its membership distinguish the MMF. It promotes discussion of new ideas and provides a facility by which academics; researchers, policy makers (especially from the Bank of England and the Treasury) and practitioners in the City can meet and debate issues of current importance. The Group provides the principal open forum for serious broad-based discussion of macro, finance and monetary economics on a regular basis in the UK.