In this article, we document the way modellers navigate between modelling choices, based on (1) the modellers’ own dispositions, which depend on their training, their academic standards, and their integration in national or international professional networks; (2) the visions of policymakers and executives at different levels of the institution’s hierarchy; and (3) the model’s function, which is shaped by the institution’s organisation and mandates—any model has to be (at least partly) successful in the accomplishment of this function. We use as a case study the Bank of England and the different macroeconometric models developed within the Bank until the most recent one (COMPASS). This case study helps us to better understand the constraints to which modellers are confronted.
This paper discusses the transformation of the content, role, and status of economic research at the Bank of England (BoE) in the past 60 years. We show how three factors (policy functions and missions of the Bank, its organisational structure, and the attitude of its executives towards economics) shaped the evolution of in-house BoE economic research during three distinctive periods (1960-1991; 1992-2007; 2007 - 2020). Our account relies on a broad set of sources and methods (BoE publications, archives, interviews with current and former BoE economists, citation analysis, prosopography, and topic modelling).