Message from the IEA President

The Nineteenth World Congress and more

Dear IEA colleagues,

I am delighted to inform you that it is official now—the Nineteenth World Congress of the International Economic Association will be held in Bali, Indonesia, 3-7 July 2020. It will be co-organized with the Ministry of Finance of Indonesia. I signed the Memorandum of Understanding earlier today. We will soon send out the call for papers and provide you with other details of the Congress.

The IEA has come a long way since its founding in 1950 with the support of UNESCO and Joseph Schumpeter as its first (interim) President. World Congresses of the IEA have been held across the world, starting with Rome, in 1956.

The first Congress that I formally attended was in 1992 in Moscow. I have vivid memories of it, not just the intellectual content of the meetings, but the fact that, when leaving Moscow, I discovered that my Russian visa had expired the previous day, and I was advised to tiptoe out of Russia unnoticed.

These are difficult times for the global economy. There is the threat of a growth slowdown, a brewing trade war between United States and China, which is sending tremors across the world, and the possibility of a hard Brexit which could cause an European slowdown. Across the world, we see large movements of people and refugees fueling global tensions. The last months have seen the release of data and reports on how climate change may be a bigger risk than many had supposed. The world’s economic inequality is at an unconscionable level. And, in terms of politics, there is the rise of hyper-nationalism, which can fuel inequality and leave the world’s poor in dire straits. In short, we will have our hands full at the World Congress in terms of urgent policy concerns.  We have a special responsibility to bring the best ideas to the table, so that policymakers take cognizance of them. I am glad that Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance is enthusiastic about the forthcoming World Congress, and they are keen to make a special effort to involve economists in Indonesia and the ASEAN region. And, as always, with IEA congresses there will no doubt be participation from all over the world. We must strive to make this a great success; and I hope to see you there. Kaushik Basu 22 July 2019 If you have any ideas or comments for IEA, please feel welcome to write to the Associate Manager of IEA, Andrea Cavallo at